Kenya Airways expands cooperation with KLM

Kenya Airways has expanded its cooperation with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines within East Africa, following the signing of a far reaching joint venture agreement.

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 cooperation will be effective from January 1, 2014, and the two carriers will add four new routes to the current arrangement, thus increasing the total KLM – Kenya Airways joint venture to a total of six routes.

The successful cooperation 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 Schiphol Amsterdam Airport and the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi. The airlines jointly operate 19 weekly return flights between The Netherlands, France and Kenya.

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

The enhanced cooperation is geared towards optimizing the longstanding relationship, 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 OfficerTitus Naikuni 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 JV by focusing our attention through only limited hubs in Europe, allowing our expansion in Africa. This next phase consolidates ourcapability to serve our guests across the region and into Europe and beyond”

 KLM’s Chief Operating Officer, Pieter Elberssaid: "We are proud of this next milestone in our cooperation with our long time strategic partner Kenya Airways. This long anticipated expansion of the joint venture will enable us to take our cooperation 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 Air France KLM Group currently operates 42 destinations in Africa, besides holding a 26.73 per cent 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 grand total of 43 destinations are being served between Eastern Africa and Europe. Further and continuous expansion on the African continent is a cornerstone for the Air France KLM Group. Together with partner Kenya Airways KLM will further consolidate its position in this rapidly growing and strategic market, through the expansion of code share routes and the opening of additional ones.