- KQ Cargo has entered into a codesharing agreement with Astral Aviation to boost trade between Africa and the Middle East
- The codesharing deal is the first of its kind in Africa, and it would boost trade and commodity movement from the Middle East into Africa by leveraging the strengths of the two cargo operators
- Kenya Airways and Astral Aviation have had a commercial and interline cooperation for cargo for the past 20 years
Kenya Airways cargo unit (KQ Cargo) has entered into a codesharing agreement with Astral Aviation to boost trade between Africa and the Middle East. The codesharing deal is the first of its kind in Africa.
KQ said it would put its codeshare flight numbers on Astral Aviation flights originating from Dubai in the United Arab Emirates into Nairobi for onward distribution within Africa.
The agreement by the two leading cargo operators on the African continent is expected to boost trade and commodity movement from the Middle East into Africa by leveraging the strengths of the two cargo operators in the Nairobi cargo hub at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
Commenting on the codeshare agreement, Kenya Airways Cargo Director Dick Murianki, said that the partnership will provide both airlines’ cargo customers with more options to boost trade between the UAE and Africa.
“KQ Cargo and Astral Aviation have had a long-standing commercial cooperation for the past 20 years and this partnership is a continuation of our efforts to strengthen collaboration and partnerships amongst African airlines and to boost intercontinental trade while driving sustainable development of the African continent.”
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Sanjeev Gadhia, the Chief Executive Officer for Astral Aviation, said that the codeshare agreement would lead to a more efficient schedule and increased capacity for African traders wishing to bring goods from the Middle East.”
Kenya Airways and Astral Aviation have had a commercial and interline cooperation for cargo for the past 20 years, which has benefited both airlines by enabling cargo to move on their respective networks, thus creating the largest cargo network in Africa from the freighter-friendly Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Astral Aviation contracted Kenya Airways to repurpose Dreamliners to carry Covid related materials from Guangzhou to Nairobi for onward connection to the rest of Africa.
The deal comes a few weeks after KQ and Royal Air Maroc (RAM) signed an agreement to resume their Codeshare partnership.
In December 2022, the two companies resumed the agreement, which was previously initiated in 2016 and discontinued in 2019.
Under the new agreement, Royal Air Maroc passengers will be able to travel to Nairobi, Zanzibar and Johannesburg on KQ’s network.
KQ passengers will also get network connections to the cities of Casablanca and Marrakech, as well as from the possibilities offered by the Moroccan national airline in terms of onward international travel through its hub in Casablanca.
“This partnership strengthens our connectivity to the East and South of the African continent, thanks to a long-standing reliable partner, Kenya Airways. It will enable our passengers to reach Nairobi and Johannesburg, two important economic and financial capitals, as well as Zanzibar, a popular tourist destination,” said Abdelhamid ADDOU, Chairman and CEO of Royal Air Maroc.
“We are pleased to continue to facilitate our customers’ travel experiences and to develop our partnership strategy in the service of our position as the leading continental operator.”
Commenting on the codeshare partnership, Julius Thairu, KQ’s Chief Commercial and Customer Officer, said the partnership would provide their travellers with improved connectivity options between their two hubs, Nairobi and Casablanca.
“Our customers will be able to enjoy the financial centre of Casablanca and the tourist destination of Marrakech.”
Royal Air Maroc currently operates three weekly frequencies to Accra (Ghana) from Casablanca and will add three flights through its codeshare with KQ to Nairobi (Kenya), linking Accra to Johannesburg (South Africa) and Zanzibar (Tanzania).
KQ currently operates seven weekly flights between Nairobi and Accra. This new partnership will enable it to offer three flights per week to Casablanca and Marrakech via Accra, the capital of Ghana.