Kenya Airways (KQ) and South African Airways (SAA) will form an alliance to establish a pan-African airline, according to Kenyan president, Uhuru Kenyatta. The partnership between Kenya Airways and South African Airways is expected to start in 2023.
“To boost tourism, trade, and social engagement; and to bolster continental integration; our national carrier Kenya Airways will join hands with our partners in South Africa to establish a Pan-African Airline,” he said in his new year speech to the nation.
The decision, according to the Head of State, will allow for continental reach as well as global coverage. Uhuru visited South Africa a month ago, and it is believed that a contract between Kenya Airways and South African Airways was struck during his two-day visit.
Kenya Airways made a net net loss of Sh11.48 billion in the six months to June 30, 2021, down from a net loss of 14.32 billion in the same time previous year. This in the while was amidst a projection drafted out as a poor full-year performance owing to the Covid-19 crisis.
South African Airways, KQ’s potential partner, resumed operations on September 23, 2021, after a one-year absence.
The airline had not operated any commercial flights since March 2020, and all cargo and repatriation flights had ended in September 2020.
South African Airways reported to the country’s Parliament in 2018 that it had lost R16 billion (Sh113 billion) during the previous three years.
This happened after it was revealed that the airline had received R50 billion (Sh355 billion) in government aid from 2004 to 2020.
Both airlines are expecting to grow past their deficits in the strategic partnership. In a joint statement following the official endorsement of the deal, the two airlines stated:
“The signing… will see both airlines work together to increase passenger traffic, cargo opportunities, and general trade by taking advantage of strengths in South Africa, Kenya, and Africa. It is expected that the partnership will improve the financial viability of the two airlines. Customers will also benefit from more competitive price offering for both passenger and cargo segment.”
Source: News Agencies