The Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways has entered into a strategic commercial partnership with Kenya Airways to expand rapidly across Africa.
The code-sharing agreement will allow Etihad to place its EY code on Kenya Airways flights from Nairobi to 27 destinations across its network in Africa. The Kenya Airways will reciprocate by placing its KQ code on Etihad’s daily service from Nairobi to Abu Dhabi and, if approved by the government, about 32 other destinations as well. After this deal, Etihad will have 42 code-share partners, with a combined passenger network of 349 destinations. These figures are higher than any other Middle East airline and make Etihad the premier choice of travel.
Under the deal, Kenya Airways will also increase the frequency its flight service between Nairobi and Abu Dhabi to thrice a week from mid-summer 2013. The partnership strategy will further boost connectivity to the UAE through the launch of newly services to Abu Dhabi.
James Hogan, Etihad Airways president and CEO, said: “The partnership agreement with Kenya Airways is in line with our strategy of forming alliances with airlines around the world to enhance our network and marketing reach. This agreement will also allow both airlines to benefit from cost savings achieved through synergies and economies of scale”.
The code-sharing deal will allow Etihad to expand its footprint across Africa. Last year, the carrier had launched new services to Tripoli, Nairobi and Lagos. The demand for travel to Africa has been steadily growing in recent years as the continent is explored for business and leisure purposes. To cater to this booming demand, Etihad has taken complementary steps by more than doubling the offered services to Africa. During the last five years, approximately three million passengers have flown between Africa and the UAE using Etihad’s network.