Kenya Airways and South African regional airline Airlink sign interline agreement

KENYA – Kenya Airways has signed an interline agreement with Airlink, a South African regional airline to extend the Kenya’s national carrier’s in the Southern Africa region via Johannesburg and Cape Town.

The new agreement will offer customers seamless travel of over 40 cities across Africa.

Kenya Airways continues to diversify its services and operations in response to their customers needs.

Under this latest agreement, Kenya Airways customers flying to South Africa will be able to connect with Airlink operated flights to Windhoek, Durban, Gaborone, Maseru, Pemba, Maputo, Port Elizabeth, among others.

It will also enable Airlink passengers to book a through ticket to Nairobi and enjoy connections to the rest of Kenya Airways destinations within Africa, including Entebbe, Kigali, Dar es Salaam, Bujumbura, Kinshasa and more.

The agreement presents new growth opportunities for both airlines and will strengthen aviation ties between Kenya and Southern Africa.

This partnership also plays a significant role economically, improving trade exchange and spurring tourism across the continent.

“These new routes will positively impact the flow of trade and tourism across the region by offering our customers convenient travel around the continent”

Julius Thairu – Chief Commercial Officer

Kenya Airways Acting Chief Commercial Officer Julius Thairu said that as global economies continue to reel from the effects of the pandemic, such strategic partnerships are critical.

“These new routes will positively impact the flow of trade and tourism across the region by offering our customers convenient travel around the continent,” he said.

However, the agreement is that it does not include Kenya Airways’ broader intercontinental network and overseas destinations.

This limitation makes sense, however, when you consider South Africa Airlink’s existing interline agreements with Air France, British Airways, KLM, Emirates, Lufthansa, United, and more. To include Kenya Airways’ European and Asian destinations would certainly conflict with the destinations of these other airlines.

While this new partnership will see the airlines working together, it is not quite the same as a codeshare but is a more basic form of partnership than a codeshare, which will allow each airline to have the other carrier’s flights booked on the same itinerary. This will allow for smoother check-in, seamless connections, and included baggage transfer.

Codeshare agreements would take this to the next level, with one airline operating a flight on behalf of the other using their flight code which typically allows for frequent flyers on one airline to collect points/miles and redeem flights on the other carrier while at the same time benefitting from other loyalty status perks.

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