Etihad Airways is expanding its reach across Africa after signing a strategic commercial partnership agreement with Kenya Airways, the national flag carrier of Kenya. Etihad Airways will place its EY code on Kenya Airways flights from Nairobi to 27 destinations across Kenya Airways’ network in Africa.
As part of the reciprocal codeshare agreement, Kenya Airways will place its KQ code on Etihad Airways’ daily service from Nairobi to Abu Dhabi and, subject to government approval, onwards to up to 32 key destinations across Etihad’s global network.
Kenya Airways will also launch a new three times a week service between Nairobi and Abu Dhabi from mid-summer 2013. This will give passengers improved connections and greater choice.
The agreement paves the way for greater collaboration between the airlines on the joint procurement of services for ground handling, line and heavy maintenance, training and cargo operations.
The new codeshare with Kenya Airways will complement Etihad’s existing scheduled service between Nairobi to Abu Dhabi which provides passengers with sub-four hour connections over
its hub in the UAE to destinations across North Asia, South East Asia, the Indian Sub continent and Australia.
James Hogan, Etihad Airways President and Chief Executive Officer, said: “The partnership agreement with Kenya Airways is in line with our strategy of forming alliances with airlines around the world to enhance our network and marketing reach.
“This agreement will also allow both airlines to benefit from cost savings achieved through synergies and economies of scale.
“Last year we launched new services to Tripoli, Nairobi and Lagos, and over the last five years we have more than doubled our services to Africa, reflecting the increasing importance of the continent.
“During the same period we have flown nearly three million passengers between Africa and the UAE, and key destinations across our network.” Added Hogan.
Dr. Titus Naikuni, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Kenya Airways, said: “The new codeshare partnership with Etihad Airways is a significant strengthening of the global network of both airlines, which provides more choice to all our passengers.
“As part of the agreement we are looking for greater collaboration and coordination on cargo operations, training and procurement opportunities which will make us more cost efficient and customer responsive.” Naikuni concluded.
Kenya Airlines joins a growing list of airlines to have launched new services to Abu Dhabi International Airport as a direct result of Etihad Airways’ partnership strategy, including: airberlin Air Seychelles, Alitalia, CSA Czech Airlines, Garuda, Hainan Airlines, RAK Airways and Virgin Australia.
The codeshare agreement with Kenyan Airways brings to 42 the number of Etihad Airways codeshare partners, creating a combined passenger network of 349 destinations, more than any other Middle East airline.
Etihad Airways’ daily service from Nairobi to Abu Dhabi is operated by a two class A320 aircraft with 16 Pearl Business class and 120 Coral Economy seats.