Air France has formally joined the Kenya Airways #ticker:KQ and KLM joint venture (JV), as the French carrier launched direct flights between Nairobi and Paris.
The new agreement, which was signed Monday, allows passengers to connect to 26 and 57 other destinations beyond Nairobi and Paris, respectively.
Air France, which merged with KLM in 2004, will operate three weekly flights between Nairobi and Paris.
The airline will fly the latest-generation Boeing 787 on this route; the Dreamliner with 30 seats in Business class, 20 in Premium Economy class and 225 seats in Economy class.
Air France, KLM and KQ customers will also reserve flights operated on a code share basis by one of the three airlines on Amsterdam and Nairobi routes following signing of the partnership.
“We are back on the (Nairobi and Paris) route because of the growing economic ties between the two countries.
“To date, we have over 80 French companies that have selected Nairobi as their regional hub and this is one of the many opportunities we are looking to tap.
“Our latest route will serve to strengthen our African routes,” said Air France, senior vice president Africa, Frank Legre.
The new agreement now allows the three carriers to conduct concerted marketing and sales activities, align and coordinate pricing of tickets as well as exchange of staff in select areas.
KLM and KQ entered into a “master co-operation agreement” in 1995, which has seen them share revenues on certain routes based on a pre-determined ratio after deducting expenses.
“We are accelerating our offensive on the long haul flights by forging partnerships and new alliances. We are set to unveil new routes and partnerships soon,” said Air France, Executive Vice President, Customer Division, Anne Rigail.