China airline and KQ revive suspended interline deal


A Kenya Airways plane. FILE PHOTO | NMG

China Southern Airlines (CZ) and national carrier Kenya Airways (KQ) have renewed their interline agreement, which was suspended in April 2020 in a move that set to grow their reach across Asia and Africa.

The deal, which takes effect at once, will restore connectivity for both airlines’ passengers to points on the respective carriers’ networks via Nairobi, Guangzhou and Shanghai using a single ticket and one baggage policy.

Read: China Southern Airlines increases Nairobi flights

The agreement, which was halted after KQ stopped flying to China following the outbreak of Coronavirus will enhance connectivity options that KQ will offer to its passengers via access to domestic China destinations operated by China Southern Airline.

These routes include Shanghai, Chongqing, Changsha, Chengdu, Dalian, Fuzhou, Hefei, Hangzhou, Nanchang, Kunming, Guiyang, Ningbo, Nanjing, Nanning, Shenyang, Shantou, Sanya, Qingdao, Jinan and Tianjin among others.

Global destinations operated by China Southern will include Bangkok, Hanoi, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Penang, Seoul, Singapore, Tokyo, Sydney, Auckland and Melbourne.

“China Southern passengers will also benefit from access to KQ’s network of seamless connections to cities beyond Nairobi to African destinations such as Dar es Salaam, Entebbe, Kigali, Kinshasa, Bujumbura, Johannesburg, Cape Town, Douala, Mauritius, and other points,” said Kenya Airways in a statement on Thursday.

China Southern Airlines and Kenya Airways are both members of the SkyTeam alliance.

The Chinese carrier made its inaugural flight to Kenya from Guangzhou in 2015, in a move expected to boost the tourism sector but also raise the competition bar for KQ.

Read: Kenya Airways sinks into worst-ever loss of Sh38bn

The airline since its entry into Kenya has been targeting local travellers who import products from China.

It also hopes to get business from tourists visiting the two countries and students on exchange programmes.

[email protected]