Kenya Airways and Delta Airlines expand codeshare agreement

KENYA – Kenya Airways (KQ) and Delta Airlines have expanded their codeshare agreement, increasing the choice of destinations and extending Kenya Airways’ reach in North America via the U.S. gateway of New York-JFK and those of Delta in Africa.

The new agreement enhances the airlines’ reach to 39 cities across Africa, the United States, and Canada.

The enhanced agreement enables Delta customers flying nonstop on the airline’s services from New York-JFK to Accra, Ghana, to connect with Delta-marketed codeshare flights to Monrovia, Liberia, and Freetown, Sierra Leone, operated by Kenya Airways.

Delta-marketed codeshare flights will also be available on Kenya Airways’ services from Nairobi to Cape Town, South Africa; Harare, Zimbabwe; and Kigali, Rwanda.

From New York-JFK, Kenya Airways has placed its code on Delta’s services to Washington’s Ronald Reagan National Airport, offering customers increased access to the U.S. capital, as well as to Indianapolis, Indiana.

“Delta is the leading U.S. airline in Africa. Strengthening our partnership with Kenya Airways responds to customer demand for more travel choice between the continent and North America,” said Alain Bellemare, Delta’s E.V.P and President International.

“These codeshare services will offer customers greater access to destinations in South, West and East Africa, rounding out Delta’s existing network of nonstop services to Accra, Dakar, Johannesburg and Lagos.”

Julius Thairu, Kenya Airways Chief Customer and Commercial Officer, added, “Kenya Airways and Delta Airlines’ partnership remains central to our plans of offering the fastest connections to the Americas from our Nairobi hub and is in-line with our brand promise of enabling the sustainable development of Africa by providing access to different markets. In addition to Washington’s Ronald Reagan National Airport and Indianapolis, Indiana, other destinations we have within the codeshare are New York: Chicago O’Hare – Illinois, Denver – Colorado, Orlando – Florida, Miami – Florida, Raleigh Durham – North Carolina, Phoenix – Arizona, Charlotte – North Carolina.”

Delta and Kenya Airways are both members of the SkyTeam alliance. Frequent Flyers can earn and redeem miles on both airlines, while Elite Plus travellers benefit from SkyPriority services.

Delta Airlines posted a net loss of US$1.18 billion in the first quarter of 2021 and its revenues dropped 60% to hit US$4.15 billion, compared with the US$10.47 billion generated in Q1 2019.

The airline posted a loss of US$3.55 a share compared with a forecast of US$3.17 per share.

The increase in passengers, combined with lower labour and fuel costs, helped Delta generate US$4 million in cash per day in March after burning cash for the past year while cash consumption averaged US$ 11 million per day during the quarter.

Although the airline expects to break even in June this year, it still expects to post a pre-tax loss of up to US$1.5 billion for the second quarter.

The carrier is the last U.S. airline to block middle seats, a practice that began earlier in the pandemic to help customers feel more comfortable flying.

In March, the airline reports that it lost US$100 million to US$150 million in revenue by not selling middle seats.

Throughout 2020, the airline lost more than US$12 billion, much of it in restructuring charges, but is recovering as a result of more than US$11 billion in federal pandemic-relief cash and loans.

Delta Airlines, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, is one of the United States’ major airlines. It operates over 5,400 flights daily and serves 325 destinations in 52 countries on six continents.

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