South Africa: SAA, Kenya Airways Strengthen Their Wings

28 September 2021

Nearly a week after taking to the skies following an 18 month hiatus, South African Airways (SAA) has signed a memorandum of cooperation with Kenya Airlines which SAA says will, in the long term, form the basis for the establishment of a "Pan-African Airline Group".

According to SAA, the new Pan African group will enhance growth potential for both airlines in their hubs.

The airline said the memorandum will help improve customer experience, help to standardise products and services in line with global trends and "harness internal resources and capacities" to ignite sustainable and cost-effective growth.

These internal resources and capacities include:

Shared 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.

SAA interim CEO Thomas Kgokolo said this is part of the airline'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.

"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," Kgokolo said.

Kenya Airways CEO Allan Kilavuka highlighted that for the aviation sector to survive into the future, partnerships are paramount.

"The future of aviation and its long-term sustenance is hinged on partnership and collaboration. Kenya Airways and South African Airways collaboration will enhance customer benefits by availing a larger combined passenger and Cargo network, fostering the exchange of expertise, innovation, best practices, and adopting home-grown organic solutions to technical and operational challenges."

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