Kenya Airways (KQ) and South African Airways (SAA) are chatting a path for a joint operation under a conglomerate from 2023, a move likened to the Association of European Airlines (AEA) which brought together 22 major airlines in Europe.
The move, according to KQ’s Chairman Michael Joseph, seeks to reduce the unit of flights while providing multiple options to passengers.
Joseph also intends to extend such partnerships to other major airlines across the continent.
“It’s not just going to be KQ and SAA, the intention is also at some point in the future to invite a West African airline so we could have a three-hub strategy covering Nairobi, Johannesburg and a new West Africa hub to create more opportunities for our airlines and passengers,” added Mr. Joseph.
The merger between the two according to Joseph will be under a Holding Company.
“The shareholders of the holding company would be strategic investors and individual governments. The holding company would provide services to airlines operating underneath such as training, HR, catering, maintenance and finance,” added KQ Chairman Michael Joseph.
This comes four months after both Kenya and South Africa signed eight bilateral deals to strengthen diplomatic relations between the two.
The eight agreements included deals in transport, health, diplomatic consultations and training as well as tourism and migration.
Others were a Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) as well as MoU’s on Government Printing Works and the return of nationals refused entry and illegal entrants.
“In addition to strong bilateral relations which span a wide range of areas, Kenya and South Africa are close partners at the regional and global stage,” said President Uhuru Kenyatta.
President Kenyatta and President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa witnessed the signing of the agreements shortly after they led their delegations in bilateral talks at Union Buildings in Pretoria, the official seat of the South African Government on November 23, 2022.