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South Africa, Kenya airlines discuss joint Africa carrier

By AFP
29 September 2021   |   4:33 pm
South Africa's beleaguered national airline has signed a cooperation agreement with its Kenyan counterpart, with the long-term aim to create a pan-African airline, it said Wednesday.

PHOTO:alliance/dpa

South Africa’s beleaguered national airline has signed a cooperation agreement with its Kenyan counterpart, with the long-term aim to create a pan-African airline, it said Wednesday.

South African Airways (SAA) recently emerged from bankruptcy proceedings and flew its first plane since March 2020 last week.

“SAA is signing a memorandum of cooperation with Kenya Airways, a welcome and strategic partnership with a longer-term view to co-starting a pan-African airline group,” its spokeswoman Vimla Maistry told AFP.

She said the next step would be for both parties to “further discuss the memorandum”, noting that they were still exploring possible collaboration at this stage.

Once Africa’s second-largest airline after Ethiopian Airlines, SAA had survived for decades on government bailouts and was shedding routes even before the pandemic hit.

It emerged from business rescue in May, after slashing hundreds of jobs and slimming its fleet from 46 to six planes.

The airline has so far resumed domestic and regional services.