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Kenya Airways and South African Airways seek West African partner for new super African airline

KENYA Airways (KQ) and South African Airways (SAA) have begun rolling out customer benefits through strategic cooperation, and are looking to add a West African airline partner, according to the website, Aviation Week Network.

The two African airlines announced their planned partnership in September 2021, and finalised the agreement two months later.

According to Kenyan radio station Capital FM, KQ and SAA have announced a new lounge access agreement for their customers as part of the Strategic Framework Agreement (SPF) signed in November 2021.

The will allow KQ business class customers as well as Sky Team Elite customers (Platinum and Gold) to have exclusive access to the lounge services at the SAA’s ultra-modern Platinum lounge located at O.R Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, according to aviation authorities.

Kenya Airways expects a 20 percent rise in revenue this year, its chief executive told Reuters, as it battles to end losses in its passenger business, and recover from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

‘The future of African aviation relies on consolidation to reduce unit costs and connect the continent more,’ Kenya Airways Group MD & CEO Allan Kilavuka said at the CAPA Airline Leader Summit in the UK on April 7, 2022, according to Aerotime Hub.

Meanwhile, debt-laden SAA remains a burden on the South African purse.

Last week, the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) promised to deal with the sale of SAA’s 51 percent after the National Treasury responded to the committee.

Scopa chairperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa,said on Thursday, that they would write to Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan to seek answers on the issues.

Gordhan has said that all of SAA’s legacy debt has already been or will be taken care of by the government.

The Treasury is repaying R16. 4bn (about $1.6bn) over three years, which began in 2020, and in October allocated R10. 5bn to fund the rescue plan.


Chad Williams/IOL

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