KQ, South African Airways seal deal to share strategic capabilities
Kenya’s national carrier Kenya Airways (KQ) and South Africa Airways (SAA) have entered a memorandum of cooperation with a longer-term view to co-starting a Pan-African Airline Group that in time will enhance mutual growth potential between the two carriers.
This cooperation aligns with KQ’s core purpose, ‘Contributing to the sustainable development of Africa’. will be based on mutual benefits.
These include strategic positioning in global aviation, diversifying earning streams, and reinforcing regional partnership in Africa through diplomatic and commercial relations.
This will see an increase in passenger traffic, cargo opportunities, and general trade by taking advantage of strengths in South Africa, Kenya, and Africa.
“The future of aviation and its long-term sustenance is hinged on cooperation. KQ and SAA collaboration will enhance customer benefits by availing a larger combined passenger and Cargo network, fostering the exchange of expertise, innovation, best practice, and adopting home-grown organic solutions to technical and operational challenges.’’ Said KQ Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Allan Kilavuka.
KQ said that pursuit of partnerships is one of the core strategic pillars that shall transform the airline by ensuring its financial viability while offering world class services in Africa and the world.
“This cooperation, which includes demand recovery and other cost containment strategies, will aid recovery of both carriers in an increasingly competitive African airline environment. It will also enhance related Kenya and South Africa tourism circuits, which sectors account for significant portions of respective country growth domestic product, benefiting from at least two attractive hubs in Johannesburg, Nairobi and possibly Cape Town. KQ and SAA, as iconic airline brands of Africa’s biggest and vibrant economies, in East Africa and Southern Africa respectively, are at the precipice of what could be Africa’s formidable Pan African airline.,’ said SAA’s Interim CEO Thomas Kgokolo.
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Both Kenya and South Africa have committed to providing an operating environment that will allow for commercial agility and flexibility, shared access to domestic and international markets for the carriers’ mutual benefit.
The collaboration will also assist both airlines in the current and post-pandemic business and travel environment.
This, according to Kgokolo says would involves joint recovery strategies and other cost containment strategies that will aid recovery of both carriers in an increasing competitive African airline environment. This agreement does not offer an exclusivity that precludes either of the airlines from pursuing commercial co-operation with other carriers within the current route network strategy.
This cooperation also seeks to address the significant contraction witnessed in the history of the air transport market in the wake of COVID-19.
KQ Strategic Partnerships
About two weeks ago, KQ signed an aircraft lease agreement with Congo Airways to seal part of trade agreement that was signed between President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Congolese counterpart Felix Tshisekedi in April this year.
The agreement is meant for KQ TO lease two Embraer E190 jets to Congo Airways, boosting domestic operations and flight frequencies in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as the airline begins direct cargo flights from Johannesburg to Lubumbashi.
It is a partnership which strengthens and bolster aviation ties between Kenya and the DRC, actualising the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between KQ and Congo Airways.
KQ’s deal with Congo-based airline followed a part of the trade agreement that was signed between President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Congolese counterpart Felix Tshisekedi in April this year.
The African air transport market is estimated to be 50 percent of 2019 (pre-COVID-19), and the situation is expected to last for at least three years.