South African Airways and Kenya Airways have signed a cooperation agreement

South African Airways and Kenya Airways have signed a cooperation agreement

/PP.Selolo


South African Airways (SAA) and Kenya Airways (KQ) have signed a cooperation agreement with a long-term view to create a pan-African airline group, the two companies said on Tuesday.

“It is not a merger but a partnership that seeks to re-organise KQ and SAA assets into an ecosystem that will make the South African and Kenyan aviation sector more competitive,” Kenya Airways said in a statement.

SAA said in a separate statement that the pact did not preclude either firm from pursuing commercial cooperation with other carriers and said collaborating would help contain costs.

State-owned SAA restarted domestic flights last week and this week launches a scaled-down international service to five African capitals after its longstanding financial woes were exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Kenya Airways’ passenger business has also been severely constrained by Covid-19, and it has focused on cargo to minimise losses. Kenya has plans to renationalise the airline, whose code-share agreement with Air France-KLM for Africa-Europe routes ends this month.