In an announcement made Thursday, Congo Airways and Kenya Airways announced signing a memorandum of understanding to strengthen ties between the two airlines. The agreement is mainly intended to boost passenger and cargo business between the two airlines’ local markets and the international networks.
“The cooperation between Kenya Airways and Congo Airways will cover technical capacity building, commercial cooperation and human resource training. Part of this will cover cost-effective aircraft maintenance and technical expertise, particularly on the Embraer E-Jet fleet training in engineering, flight deck and crew, route codeshare opportunities and other synergies,” the airlines said in a statement.
Kenya Airways Group Managing Director and CEO Allan Kilavuka said the partnership aims to support both airlines as they look to recover from the slump in demand last year.
“The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic and the associated containment measures aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus disrupted the aviation sector, with most markets operating at reduced capacity and some fully shutting down. As the global economies continue to rebound steadily, this commitment provides an opportunity to leverage on the strengths of the industry players in the future,” Kilavuka said.
Désiré Balazire Bantu, CEO of Congo Airways, echoed that sentiment.
“Congo Airways is very excited about this agreement with Kenya Airways. This partnership will contribute to the promotion and the development of both companies. The pandemic has very impacted the air transport sector with Covid-19. Together we will provide better solutions and innovations. In the future, our companies will be able to face the single air transport market as decided by the African Union,” Bantu said.
Kilavuka also emphasized the importance of the strategic cooperation between the two national carriers and their role in facilitating trade exchange between them. Moreover, he stressed the importance of collaboration on aviation sector expertise, especially as the aviation sector recovers from the devastating impact of Covid-19.
Kenya Airways continues to strengthen its business and prepare for the pandemic, emphasising supporting customers and team members, reducing costs, and improving its liquidity position and balance sheet.
The airline lost 36.57 billion Kenya shillings in 2020, three times what they lost in 2019. That’s $1 million per day and among Kenya’s worst results ever.
Also, in 2020 Kenya’s national airline carried a dismal 1.8 million passengers, a decline of 65% from 5.1 million in 2019 and the consequence of a year defined by the epidemic.