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HomeAirlinesEthiopian AirlinesWhat KQ- SAA partnership means to Tanzania

What KQ- SAA partnership means to Tanzania

By Alex Nelson Malanga

Dar es Salaam. The move by Kenya Airways (KQ) and South African Airways (SAA) to establish an African airline in 2023, offers both opportunities and challenges to budding regional air operators like Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL), analysts say.
On Wednesday, during an official visit by Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta to South Africa, KQ and SAA signed a Strategic Partnership Framework which will see to the two carriers eventually form a pan-African carrier.
Analysts who spoke to The Citizen yesterday said the move means that Tanzania needs to watch and see what finally comes out of the agreement.
“If it works, then Tanzania should consider emulating it by also looking at who to partner with. It could be Ethiopian Airlines, or any other formidable player,” said the Tanzania Air Operators Association (Taoa) executive secretary, Ms Lathifa Sykes.
Noting that the aviation industry is a very difficult industry, she said airlines and other stakeholders need to think outside the box for survival of the industry.
Taoa represents members who include locally-registered air operators, airport ground-handling companies and aircraft refuellers based in Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar.
ATCL managing director Ladislaus Matindi said the merger was a good business arrangement because it would spice up competition.
However, Mr Matindi said they would take the wait-and-see approach before making a decision on what could be a good business arrangement for them to take up.
Merger of airlines is not a new phenomenon and this can be evidenced by the-then merger between SAA and ATCL years ago which, however, did not work.
The ATCL-SAA merger became insolvent in 2006 after accumulating losses amounting to Sh24.7 billion in the four years of the merger.
“We are watching closely. We are here to stay – and that is why we are establishing ourselves,” he asserted.
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