KQ in Code sharing Deal with Italian Airline to Expand Market Access

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  • Kenya Airways (KQ) signs a code-sharing deal with Italian airline ITA Airways 
  • KQ said travellers could connect on the Kenya Airways network to ITA Airways network across Europe and reach some of Italy’s most picturesque cities and towns
  • Customers flying from Nairobi with Kenya Airways will be able to conveniently connect to 13 destinations in Italy, among them Brindisi, Bologna, Bari, Catania, Genoa, Lamezia Terme and Napoli

Kenya Airways (KQ) and ITA Airways, Italy’s new flag carrier, have announced a code sharing agreement providing passengers with seamless connections from the Kenya Airways network to destinations across Europe.

In a statement, KQ said travellers could connect on the Kenya Airways network to ITA Airways network across Europe and reach some of Italy’s most picturesque cities and towns.

Customers flying from Nairobi with Kenya Airways will be able to conveniently connect to 13 destinations in Italy, among them Brindisi, Bologna, Bari, Catania, Genoa, Lamezia Terme and Napoli.

Others include Palermo, Reggio Calabria, Torino, Trieste, Venice, and Verona, through its three international European gateway destinations of Amsterdam, Paris, and London.

Julius Thairu, Chief Commercial and Customer Officer at Kenya Airways said of the partnership will give KQ’s customers significantly more choice and flexibility, allowing Kenya Airways to strengthen its global presence and build on its strong customer base across the continent.

“Partnering with ITA Airways represents yet another major step on our growth trajectory, and we hope to deliver more commitments like this to our customers soon,” Thairu said.

The newly launched ITA Airways aims to connect Italy to the world and the world to Italy, providing easy access to business and leisure travellers alike.

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By placing the customer at the heart of its business, ITA Airways’ goal is to ensure an outstanding Italian-inspired experience and personalised services strengthened by a solid commitment towards digitalisation and sustainability.

This is not the first code-sharing deal that KQ has signed recently.

In September, for instance, KQ signed an aircraft lease agreement and began operating a cargo code-share partnership with Congo Airways.

The agreement would see Kenya Airways lease two Embraer E190 jets to Congo Airways, boosting domestic operations and flight frequencies in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The partnership was started to strengthen collaboration and bolster aviation ties between Kenya and the DRC, actualising the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Kenya Airways and Congo Airways signed in April 2021 in Kinshasa and witnessed by Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta and DRC’s President Felix Tshisekedi.

Kenya Airways Group MD and CEO Allan Kilavuka hailed the partnership as the first of many steps in actualising Pan Africanism by creating a model for cooperation between two African Airlines, which will contribute to Africa’s socio-economic development.

Kenya Airways and ITA Airways, Italy’s new flag carrier, have announced a codeshare agreement providing passengers with seamless connections from the Kenya Airways network to destinations across Europe. Photo: Kenya Airways

“KQ is a key player in the aviation space in Africa, and with over 40 years of experience, this is an important step in enhancing cooperation to increase air connectivity and offer greater passenger and cargo options between the two countries. The timing of this agreement is correct, considering the severe impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the aviation industry, as it will increase the utilisation of our aircraft.”

Earlier in June, KQ and Delta Air Lines expanded their code share agreement to increase the choice of destinations offered by Delta in Africa and extend Kenya Airways’ reach in North America via the U.S. gateway of New York-JFK.

The partners also revealed that the agreement would enhance their already extensive code share network to offer seamless travel to 39 cities across Africa, the United States and Canada.

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

Delta-marketed code share flights would 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 had 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 code share 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.”

“Kenya Airways and Delta Air Lines’ 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,” Thairu said.

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Wanjiku Njuguna is a Kenyan-based business reporter with experience of more than eight years.

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