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KQ inks deal with Air Madagascar to expand Africa network

A KQ plane
A KQ plane at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

National carrier Kenya Airways (KQ) #ticker:KQ has signed a memorandum of understanding with Air Madagascar and Reunion Island-based French carrier Air Austral that will see the three airlines develop a codeshare pact meant to grow their network in Africa.

The partnership will explore possibilities of new connections in Africa and the Indian Ocean island, opening up additional business opportunities for the three airlines. Kenya Airways is looking to tap leisure segments with the new agreement while Air Madagascar is set to explore new destinations in West Africa as Air Austral aims to grow business in Africa through KQ’s connections.

“Improving access to the Indian Ocean islands is the goal that this agreement seeks to achieve…Our customers will have better access to Mayotte, La Reunion, domestic Madagascar and Kenya as well as other destinations beyond our respective hubs,” said Kenya Airways managing director and chief executive Sebastian Mikosz.

The announcement follows an agreement between KQ and American-based aircraft maker Boeing that will see the local airline access the latter’s global network of spare parts and on-demand services.

Kenya Airways became the first airline in Africa to have access to Boeing’s consumable and expandable services, meant to improve its fleet’s reliability and turnaround time. Boeing will deliver materials and services that will keep KQ’s fleet’s maintenance operations running at optimum efficiency.

This latest agreement comes barely three months to the launch of direct flights between Nairobi and New York City in the US.

“This programme will provide unparalleled support for our fleet of 737s and 787-8s and we expect to continue to grow our operations with increased reliability and quicker turnaround times,” said Jan de Vegt, chief operating officer at Kenya Airways.

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