South African Airways (SAA) and Kenya Airways (KQ) have signed a codeshare agreement, with an immediate effect, that aims to jointly increase their reach in their countries, extending destinations for travellers. 

Under this new agreement, each airline will offer flights operated by each other using its own individual code. This comes after a special pro-rate agreement was signed between both airlines earlier this year, as such, this codeshare agreement is expected to build upon the previous agreement. Kenya Airways has announced its view that the codeshare agreement will strengthen its strategic partnership plans with SAA. Whilst John Lamola, interim CEO of SAA, has stated:

“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.” 

SAA and KQ have partnered in various deals in recent years, seeking to create a Pan-African airline group.

SAA and KQ CEOs signing deal
South African Airways and Kenya Airways CEOs sign the memorandum

The implications 

Passengers travelling out of both countries will have more destination options within the airlines’ respective regions. Also, customers are now able to combine flight segments and baggage from both airlines on a single ticket. 

For travellers in South Africa, additional destinations as part of this deal include Nairobi, Dar es Salaam, Entebbe, Mombasa and Kisumu. Whereas those travelling from Kenya will have choices including Cape Town, Durban and Harare.  

The future 

There are plans, on Kenya Airways’s end, to partner with other parts of Africa in a similar way, namely in Zanzibar, Kilimanjaro, Juba, Douala, Lusaka, Ghana and Nigeria. But this is subject to governmental approval. Further codeshare destinations are being deliberated between the partners and will be announced if it comes into effect. To reiterate KQ’s willingness to expand its horizons, Allan Kilavuka, Kenya Airways CEO and Group Managing Director, stated on Tuesday that the additional destinations will create “many opportunities for trade and tourism.” The codeshare agreement is expected to improve the financial capacity of both airlines, as they are currently struggling due to the economic effects of the pandemic.

Is this new codeshare agreement promising for sustaining the two airlines? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section! 


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