President Uhuru confirms merger of Kenya Airways with South African Airways


President Kenyatta has announced that Kenya Airways (KQ) and South African Airways (SAA) will work together to create a pan-African airline.

Kenyatta said in its New Years message that the new airline will have unmatched continental reach and global coverage.

“To promote tourism, trade and social engagement; and to strengthen continental integration; Our national airline, Kenya Airways, will team up with our partners in South Africa to create a pan-African airline, ”said Kenyatta.

During his visit to South Africa last November, Kenyatta saw the signing of a strategic partnership framework between the two airlines to form a pan-African airline group by 2023.

KQ and SAA had previously signed a collaboration agreement to foster closer collaboration in terms of sharing knowledge, expertise, innovation, digital technologies and global best practices.

The two airlines announced that they would work together to increase passenger traffic, freight opportunities and general trade. They expect the partnership to improve the financial sustainability of both airlines and provide more competitive pricing for passengers and cargo customers.

The alliance will also use the respective airline hubs of OR Tambo International Airport and Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to revive tourism in both countries after the Covid-19 pandemic.

The partnership is expected to improve the financial viability of the two airlines as they continue to adhere to their financial turnaround strategies. Both KQ and SAA have faced financial difficulties over the past few years, made worse by the Covid-19 crisis.

“One of the pillars to achieve this is to work together and combine assets to provide a more resilient and ultimately more competitive aviation ecosystem to pursue the commercial viability of both airlines. The partnership will improve the financial sustainability of both airlines by creating the most impressive air service in Africa, ”said a joint statement.

KQ and SAA also said their partnership was aligned with the efforts of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA), which aims to create a single market for goods and services on the continent.

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