Kenya Airways signs new expanded joint venture deal with KLM


(Posted 15th November 2013)

Kenya Airways has strengthened their cooperation with KLM / Air France within East Africa, following the signing of a new and far more extensive joint venture agreement compared to the one presently in place.

The expanded joint venture will be a significant boost to the existing benefit-sharing model between the two carriers. This far reaching cooperation for both passenger and cargo business will allow KLM and Kenya Airways to jointly implement further commercial synergies, optimize networks and schedules to better jointly serve these markets and further enhance customer experience and travel options.

The expanded co-operation will be effective from January 1, 2014, and the two carriers will add four new routes to the present arrangement, increasing the total KLM – Kenya Airways joint venture flights to six routes.

The successful co-operation between KLM and Kenya Airways dates back to 1995. In 1997, they initiated a joint venture on the Amsterdam – Nairobi route, and in 2008 expanded the joint venture with the addition to flights between JKIA and Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, France. Currently, Kenya Airways and KLM operate a daily service between Amsterdam and the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi. The three partner airlines, KQ, KLM and Air France jointly operate 19 weekly return flights between The Netherlands, France and Kenya.

From next year, the co-operation will be expanded through the addition of the London – Nairobi, Amsterdam –Entebbe / Kigali, Amsterdam – Lusaka and Harare and the Amsterdam-Kilimanjaro / Dar-es-Salam routes, the latter subject to pending regulatory approval. This will bring the total number of frequencies operated jointly by Kenya Airways and KLM / Air France to approximately 44 weekly flights with combined revenues exceeding US$500 million.

This enhanced co-operation is aimed at optimizing the longstanding relationship between the two airlines, with the ultimate objective of doubling the amount of frequencies between Europe and the East African continent.

Kenya Airways’ Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Titus Naikuni on the occasion of signing the new deal said: ‘I am proud of the longstanding and successful partnership between KLM and Kenya Airways, both as shareholders, and also business partners. We saw a tremendous development of our route network particularly in the early years of the Joint Venture by focusing our attention through only limited hubs in Europe, allowing our expansion in Africa. This next phase consolidates our capability to serve our guests across the region and into Europe and beyond’.

In his response did KLM’s Chief Operating Officer, Pieter Elbers, who signed the agreement for KLM / Air France add: ‘We are proud of this next milestone in our co-operation with our long time strategic partner Kenya Airways. This long anticipated expansion of the joint venture will enable us to take our co-operation to a new level. Furthermore this new step will provide our passengers with a more extensive network in this important part of the world’.

The KLM / Air France Group currently operates to 42 destinations in Africa, besides holding a 26.73 percent stake in Kenya Airways. The number of KLM destinations on the African continent has grown over the years, reaching 15 different key cities. Together with Kenya Airways a total of 43 destinations are being served between Eastern Africa and Europe making it one of the most complete networks into Africa by any of the three global airlines alliances. Watch this space for breaking and regular news from the Eastern African aviation scene.