KQ pushes for shared operations among African airlines 

Kenya Airways recently entered into a partnership with South African Airways that will include code sharing. Photo / File 

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According to Mr Julius Thairu, African national carriers will benefit from collaborations instead of competing for the limited passenger numbers

Kenya Airways (KQ) wants a more pan African approach to business that considers partnerships and collaboration among African airlines, according to Mr Julius Thairu, the KQ chief commercial and customer officer. 

Speaking in Kampala during a port call, Mr Thairu said national carriers will benefit from such collaborations instead of competing for the limited passenger numbers.  

“Our recent experience with industrial action by pilots taught us that we will benefit more from collaboration because it’s African airlines that came to our rescue. In other markets collaboration is the order of the day in this business” Mr Thairu said, adding that if there is competition, it should be on customer experience and efficiencies.  

In July, Kenya Airways and South African Airways signed a codeshare agreement to deepen commercial ties.

The airlines announced a planned partnership in September 2021 and finalized an agreement two months later.  The framework seeks to increase passenger traffic, cargo opportunities, and trade covering services to Cape Town, Dar Es Salaam, Durban, Entebbe, Harare, Kisumu, Mombasa and Nairobi. 

The partnership is expected to expand to Douala, Juba, Kilimanjaro, Lusaka and Zanzibar, subject to regulatory approval. 

Effect of industrial action 

Mr Thairu said that the strike which had affected 10,000 travelers across the world including Uganda, had been resolved and both parties are now required to follow the laid down process of resolving disputes. 

“We have fully recovered and we are flying consistently, 3-4 daily flights on time to Entebbe and we are hoping to increase these as the demand rises especially during the festive season,” he said. 

Mr Jackson Kamande, the KQ head of pricing and revenue management, said the airline was pursuing a more innovative and customer friendly price structure that would offer more benefits and convenience to travelers. 

“Our holiday packages are particularly attractive to families because they will include travel, accommodation and travel insurance” he said.