Kenya Airways (KQ) and South African Airways (SAA) on Tuesday signed a memorandum of co-operation that will see the two carriers form a Pan-African airline.
The move is aimed at improving services and keep the two loss-making national carriers afloat.
The CEOs of the two airlines expressed confidence that the collaboration would enhance mutual growth, improve their strategic positioning in aviation, and diversify revenue streams. This will not only boost passenger traffic but also increase cargo volumes and general trade.
“The future of aviation and its long-term sustenance is hinged on co-operation. 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 CEO Allan Kilavuka.
Kilavuka said Kenya Airways is pursuing partnerships as part of its recovery strategy.
SAA’s Interim CEO Thomas Kgokolo said the deal with KQ will enable the airlines to recover in the post-pandemic business and travel 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,” he said.
“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,” he added.