KQ inks deal with Congo Airways to grow reach

Friday April 23 2021

A Kenya Airways aircraft at JKIA. FILE PHOTO | NMG


Congo Airways has inked a codeshare agreement with national carrier Kenya Airways (KQ) aimed at expanding their reach in the domestic, African and international routes.

The agreement, which was signed Thursday, will make it easy for the KQ customers to access Kinshasa directly from Nairobi as well as ply Africa and international routes jointly, the two airlines said.

A codeshare is a business deal between two or more airlines, which allows them to sell seats on each other’s flights and expand their network.

Each airline publishes and markets a flight under its designator and number as part of its schedule.

“The partnership agreement was signed by Kenya Airways Group CEO Allan Kilavuka and his Congo Airways counterpart Desire Balazire Bantu,” said a statement from State House, Nairobi, yesterday. The deal, signed in Kinshasa, on the last day of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s three-day state visit of Congo, will see the two national carriers also partner in aircraft maintenance.

The two carriers also agreed to collaborate on training and sharing of excess passengers, as well as cargo.


When it resumed international fights last year after a six-month hiatus on Covid-19 travel restrictions, KQ said it would not fly to Angola, Mali, the Republic of Congo, Somali, Sudan, Djibouti, Mozambique and Malawi.

The decision, said the airline, was an extremely difficult one in the current environment, pointing out that the move was necessary as they resumed operations gradually depending on passenger travel demand regionally and globally.

The airline’s net loss nearly tripled to Sh36.2 billion, the worst ever in the history of the airline, on account of Covid-19 disruptions that led to a sharp decline in passenger numbers.

The loss, for the financial year ended December 2020, is 2.8 times more than the Sh12.98 billion net loss it had posted a year earlier, and now deals a major blow to the recovery efforts of the national carrier.