Kenya Airways (KQ) and South African Airways (SAA) on Tuesday inked a cooperation agreement with a longer-term view to co-starting a Pan-African Airline Group that will enhance mutual growth potential between the two carriers.
Kenya Airways CEO Allan Kilavuka said the deal will be based on mutual benefits that will share strategic capabilities.
“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,” he said in a joint statement issued in Nairobi.
Kilavuka said the cooperation aligns with KQ’s core purpose including the 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.
SAA’s Interim CEO Thomas Kgokolo said the cooperation, which includes demand recovery and other cost containment strategies, will aid the recovery of both carriers in an increasingly competitive African airline environment.
The agreement does not, however, preclude either of the airlines from pursuing commercial cooperation with other carriers within their route network strategy. The next step is for both parties is to set up a joint working group to further discuss the memorandum and to put in place systems to achieve their joint objectives.