South African Airways (SAA) has inked a codeshare agreement with Kenya Airways (KQ) on flights to and from their home countries in a bid to increase their reach.
The deal, which became effective immediately, will see each airline sell, under its own code, flights operated by each other while travellers will combine flight segments and baggage on a single ticket.
The pact will also give passengers travelling out of South Africa more options to travel to African destinations, including Nairobi, Dar es Salaam, Entebbe, Mombasa and Kisumu.
KQ passengers, on the other hand, will have more choices for travel into Southern Africa, including Cape Town, Durban, and Harare immediately.
The growth of the partnership, the two airlines said, will see the addition of Zanzibar, Kilimanjaro, Juba, Douala, Lusaka, Ghana and Nigeria, subject to government approval as the two carriers seek to offer more options for travellers within Africa.
“We are very pleased to implement the codeshare with SAA, which offers our shared customers more options and flight combinations,’’ Allan Kilavuka, Kenya Airways CEO and group managing director, said on Tuesday.
“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,” says Prof John Lamola, interim CEO of South African Airways.
KQ is a member of the Sky Team — the second-largest airline network — while the South African carrier belongs to Star Alliance, so far the largest of the three major aviation clubs with a membership of 28 airlines.
The two carriers signed a strategic partnership framework in South Africa last November, which will see them eventually form a Pan-African carrier amid common longstanding financial woes exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, among other problems.
It is expected that the partnership will improve the financial viability of the two airlines currently struggling to stay afloat.