New code-sharing deal with China Southern Airlines to enhance KQ’s stability
07 August 2015, 13:51
Nairobi - The signing of a code-sharing agreement between Kenya Airways (KQ) and the China Southern Airlines will help calm turbulence for KQ following a KES 25.7 billion loss which has been attributed to poor management and competition from other airlines.
The move could help rejuvenate KQ’s dwindling fortunes at a time when there is a slump in the tourism sector, coupled with a financial crunch that threatens to cripple the national carrier. The inaugural flight of the China Southern Airlines from Guangzhou landed Wednesday at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), Nairobi.
Kenya Airways Chief Executive Officer Mr. Mbuvi Ngunze received the airline at JKIA. It landed on its inaugural flight from Guangzhou to Nairobi, mainly targeting increasing number of Kenyan businessmen who import goods from China. The Chinese carrier, will only fly between the two destinations three times in a week. Under the new arrangement signed between Kenya Airways and China Southern Airlines, customers who wish to fix their travel dates when the host airline is not flying can now use Kenya Airways to fly from Nairobi to Guangzhou.
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“China and Africa have a time honoured history of friendly relations and close ties and both sides have achieved remarkable results in cooperation of all fields”, said China Southern Airlines Chairman Si Xianmin.
Mr Xianmin added: “We are happy to open our second direct air route to Africa, having launched our first between Shenzhen and Mauritius last year. We hope our additional flights will provide our guests with convenience, besides increasing the number of business and leisure travellers into Africa and Asia”.
A code-sharing agreement is an arrangement between two or more airlines to list certain flights in a reservation system under each other’s names. The agreement is expected to stimulate opportunities for business people and increase tourist numbers through an expanded scope of KQ’s code-sharing agreement with fellow Sky Team Alliance member, to which China Southern Airlines is a member, as it works towards deepening its global presence.
The initial agreement was signed in 2009 and provided a framework for partnership between KQ and China Southern Airlines that saw the two carriers market and sell one another’s flights as if they were their own on the Nairobi-Dubai-Guangzhou route. Under the expanded agreement, Kenya Airways was to code-share on China Southern Airlines services from Bangkok to Wuhan, which is one of the busiest cities in Central China and an important centre for trade, finance and transportation.
As part of the expanded scope, KQ passengers were to get seamless access to areas such as Lusaka, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth through China Southern Airlines flights from Guangzhou China, providing another valuable benefit to its customers.
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