A Kenya Airways 787 retracts its gear after rotation. Photo AirlineGeeks/William Derrickson
Kenya Airways and Congo Airways on Thursday announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding that would strengthen commercial ties between the two airlines, mainly aimed at boosting passenger and cargo businesses between their respective markets and international networks.
“The cooperation between Kenya Airways and Congo Airways will cover technical capacity building, commercial cooperation and human resource training. Part of this will cover cost-effective aircraft maintenance and technical expertise, particularly on the Embraer E-Jet fleet training in engineering, flight deck and crew, route codeshare opportunities and other synergies,” the airlines said in a statement.
Kenya Airways Group Managing Director and CEO Allan Kilavuka said the partnership is aimed at aiding both airlines as they look to recover from the slump in demand in the past year.
“The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic and the associated containment measures aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus disrupted the aviation sector, with most markets operating at reduced capacity and some fully shutting down. As the global economies continue to rebound steadily, this commitment provides an opportunity to leverage on the strengths of the industry players in the future,” Kilavuka said.
Congo Airways CEO Désiré Balazire Bantu echoed that sentiment.
“Congo Airways is very excited about this agreement with Kenya Airways. This partnership will contribute to the promotion and the development of both companies. The air transport sector has been very impacted by the pandemic with Covid-19. Together we will provide better solutions and innovations. In the future our companies will be able to face the single air transport market as decided by the African Union,” Bantu said.
Kilavuka also highlighted the importance of the strategic cooperation between the two national carriers and their role in enhancing trade exchange between the two countries. He also stressed the importance of collaboration on expertise that benefits the aviation sector, especially as the aviation sector recovers from the devastating impact of Covid-19.
Kenya Airways continues to take steps to strengthen its business and respond to the pandemic, with an emphasis on supporting its customers and team members while reducing costs and improving its liquidity position and balance sheet.
The airline tripled its 2019 losses to record an unprecedented loss of 36.57 billion Kenyan shillings in 2020, a staggering $1 million loss per day and the worst results in Kenya’s corporate history.
The Kenyan national airline also carried a dismal 1.8 million passengers in 2020, a decline of 65% from 5.1 million in 2019 and a reflection of a year largely defined by the Covid-19 pandemic. - Victor Shalton, Airline Geeks