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  • Joe Breitfeller

South African Airways and Kenya Airways Sign Strategic Partnership Framework

South African Airways and Kenya Airways have signed a Strategic Partnership Framework with the goal of co-starting a Pan-African Airline Group by 2023. The new agreement follows a Memorandum of Cooperation signed two months ago to share industry knowledge.


South African Airways and Kenya Airways Sign Strategic Partnership Framework - SAA Airbus A320 Inset Courtesy of Airbus/Kenya Airways B787 Inset Courtesy of Kenya Airways

On Tuesday (November 23, 2021), South African Airways (SAA) announced the signing of a Strategic Partnership Framework with Kenya Airways, a major milestone towards jointly starting a Pan African Airline Group by 2023. This follows a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) signed by the airlines two months ago to foster the sharing of knowledge, expertise, innovation, digital technologies and best practices. Under the new agreement, the airlines will work together to increase passenger traffic, cargo opportunities and trade by leveraging their strengths in South Africa, Kenya and Africa, with the goal of improving overall financial viability. The signing of the Strategic Partnership Framework was witnessed by President Uhuru Kenyatta and his South African host, President Cyril Ramaphosa. The agreement was signed by Kenya Airways’ Chairman Michael Joseph and SAA Chairman John Lamola in Johannesburg.


At Tuesday’s signing ceremony, Kenya Airways’ Chairman, Michael Joseph, said,


“This cooperation aligns with Kenya Airways’ core purpose of Contributing to the sustainable development of Africa’ and is based on mutual benefits. It will increase connectivity through passenger traffic, cargo opportunities, while enhancing the implementation of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA). The geo location of the two countries will make the Pan-African Airline Group attractive by creating the most formidable Airline Group that is expected to take advantage of strengths in South Africa, Kenya, and Africa.”


South African Airways’ Chairman, John Lamola, added,


“The partnership of will improve the financial viability of both airlines by creating the most formidable air transport connection in Africa by benefiting from at least two attractive hubs of Johannesburg and Nairobi. It will ignite the Kenya and South Africa tourism circuits, which account for significant portions of the respective country’s GDP.”


Both South African Airways and Kenya Airways are committed to their financial turnaround strategies. One of the key pillars of this strategy is to come together and combine assets to provide a more robust and competitive aviation ecosystem.


Kenya Airlines is a member of the global SkyTeam Alliance and serves 41 destinations worldwide, including 34 in Africa. The carrier serves over four million guests annually, and in 2020 was named ‘Africa’s Leading Airline’ by the World Travel Awards. The carrier operates a modern fleet of 32 aircraft, including their flagship Boeing 787 Dreamliners. Kenya Airways offers service to London, Amsterdam, Guangzhou, Sharjah, Mumbai and over 25 intra-Africa routes. The carrier is dedicated to connecting Africa to the world via their hub at the new ultra-modern Terminal 1A at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi.


Founded on February 1st, 1934, South African Airways (SAA) is a leading carrier in Africa and currently offers regional service between Johannesburg and Accra, Kinshasa, Harare, Lusaka, Lagos (from December 12, 2021) and Mauritius, as well as flights between Johannesburg and Cape Town. The carrier is a member of the global Star Alliance network and offers passenger and cargo service, alongside related services provided through SAA and their wholly owned subsidiaries SAA Technical (SAAT) and Air Chefs, the airline’s catering entity. SAAT delivers high quality MRO services such as major airframe checks, engine overhaul, mechanical components, avionics and line maintenance.



Source: South African Airways