By The Exchange
Kenya’s national carrier Kenya Airways (KQ) and SAA have signed a code-share agreement that opens more destinations for seamless travel opportunities.
According to the partners, the deal comes when demand for air travel is rebounding following negative shocks caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The partners noted that the code-sharing agreement would see each airline sell, under its own code, flights operated by each other; SAA or Kenya Airways.
SAA’s customers would continue to earn Voyager Miles on these new code-share flights. The deal will also let travellers combine flight segments and baggage on a single ticket.
Passengers from South Africa will have more options to travel to African destinations, including Nairobi, Dar es Salaam, Entebbe, Mombasa and Kisumu. KQ passengers will also have more choices for travelling into southern Africa, including Cape Town, Durban and Harare.
The growth of the partnership will see the addition of Zanzibar, Kilimanjaro, Juba, Douala, Lusaka, Ghana and Nigeria subject to government approval as the airlines seek to offer more options for travellers within Africa.
Allan Kilavuka, Kenya Airways CEO and group managing director, said that as part of their Strategic Partnership Framework, the partners would contribute to making it easier for passengers to reach exciting new destinations within Africa.
“The additional destinations we believe will offer better customer journey thanks to the number of frequencies and connections created and many opportunities for trade and tourism,” he said.
Commenting on the same, Professor John Lamola, interim CEO of SAA, said that through the code-share agreement with Kenya Airways, SAA’s clientele would gain new travel choices to markets across East Africa via Kenya’s extensive network and hub in Nairobi, providing for seamless travel and status recognition.
“We are looking forward to introducing Kenya Airways customers to our award-winning service, and to working closely with Kenya Airways as our partnership will improve the connections between our respective networks,” he said.
In November 2021, KQ and SAA signed a Strategic Partnership Framework to work together to increase passenger traffic, cargo opportunities and general trade by taking advantage of strengths in South Africa, Kenya and Africa.
The new code-share agreement builds upon an existing special prorate agreement which was signed earlier this year.
Kenya Airways and SAA are also exploring ways to enhance co-operation on their respective frequent flyer programmes, including reciprocal earning and redemption opportunities and popular benefits such as lounge access, and will be announcing the details in due course.
As reported by “The Exchange Africa” in November, KQ signed a Strategic Partnership Framework with its South African counterpart, a key milestone towards co-starting a pan-African airlines group by 2023.
The partnership framework followed the Memorandum of Co-operation (MoC) that the two airlines signed in September 2021 to foster the exchange of knowledge, expertise, innovation, digital technologies and best practices.
The partnership is expected to improve the two airlines’ financial viability. Customers would also benefit from competitive pricing offerings for passenger and cargo segments.
President Uhuru Kenyatta and his South African host, President Cyril Ramaphosa, witnessed the signing of the Strategic Partnership Framework on the second day of Kenyatta’s three-day state visit to South Africa.
The Strategic Partnership Framework was signed by KQ chairperson Michael Joseph and Lamola in Johannesburg.
The partnership framework aligns well with the aspirations of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area agreement (AfCFTA) of providing a single market for goods and services, facilitated by the movement of persons and goods to deepen the economic integration and prosperity of the African continent.
It also includes demand recovery and other cost containment strategies, which will aid the recovery of both carriers in an increasingly competitive African airline environment.
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