South African Airways has entered into a strategic partnership with Kenya Airways under which the two airlines will share facilities on routes and fleet maintenance, an official said on Tuesday.SAA interim chief executive officer Thomas Kgokolo said the South African flag carrier has signed a memorandum of cooperation with Kenya Airways in a move expected to form the basis for the establishment of a “Pan-African Airline Group”.
He said the agreement is part of SAA’s plans to “once again spread its wings further on the African continent.”
“As well as being a strong local carrier, part of our broader growth strategy is to become a major player in regional travel and this joint memorandum with Kenya Airways, one of the continent’s strongest and most respected carriers, will do just that,” Kgokolo said.
He added: “Part of SAA’s core remit is to be a significant enabler of business and trade in Africa and it’s through a strategic understanding like this that real progress will be made in advancing South Africa and the continent’s growth.”
Under the memorandum, the two airlines have agreed to standardise products and services in line with global trends and to “harness internal resources and capacities” to ignite sustainable and cost-effective growth.
It would see SAA and Kenya Airways sharing services “in the areas of route networks, fleet, and capacity deployment; exploring economic, technical as well as maintenance, repair services; and overhauling opportunities to achieve economies of scale.”
The pact comes less than a week after the struggling SAA resumed flights after grounding its fleet due to operational problems and the impact of COVID-19.