A Safarilink plane. KQ and Safarilink have signed an agreement for seamless connections of travellers from international destinations. www.businesstoday.co.ke

As it seeks to reclaim its glory, Kenya Airways has partnered with Safarilink Aviation to open up Kenya to global travellers.

The two airlines have signed a one-way codeshare agreement where KQ will be selling Safarilink’s direct flights to the best safari and unique beach destinations within Kenya and Tanzania.

This codeshare agreement means that KQ will sell 18 remote Safarilink destinations in their global sales and distribution network, enabling them to combine their travel experience between respective international destinations and 18 remote destinations within Kenya and Tanzania that Safarilink operates.

During the signing of the partnership, Kenya Airways Chief Executive Officer Sebastian Mikosz said, “We have seen the need to give travel ease to our customers by connecting their destinations. This partnership will also significantly open up Kenya’s tourist destinations to international travellers by allowing tour operators and travel agencies to create unique holiday packages connecting from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (KJIA) to Wilson Airport and eventually to their respective safari destinations, which is a great convenience to them.”

The partnership will see KQ place its codeshare flight numbers on the Safarilink flights so that customers from international destinations can book their full safari experience directly via KQ holidays or via tour operators and travel agents.

It will provide daily scheduled flights that will provide convenient access to the eleven air strips in Maasai Mara and direct flights to Amboseli, Laikipia, Lewa downs, Olpajeta, Loisaba, Samburu, Lamu, Zanzibar, Ukunda, Vipingo, Kilimanjaro, Tsavo, Lodwar, Kitale, Lake Naivasha, Nanyuki and Mt. Kenya avoiding long and cumbersome road transport.

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Also commenting on the codeshare agreement, Safarilink Aviation Chief Executive Officer Alex Avedi said, “We are very pleased to be entering into this significant partnership with KQ which will provide seamless connection of passengers from the KQ network straight into Kenya and Tanzania’s world famous parks. We are delighted that KQ chose us on account of our commitment to safety and quality.”

This codeshare agreement came on the same day as Kenya Airways marked its first anniversary celebratory flight to New York.

KQ’s other international destinations include Bangkok, Dubai, Guangzhou, Mumbai, Amsterdam, London, Geneva, Rome and Paris.

Over 1.3 million people toured Kenya through JKIA in 2018 with Kenya Airways being responsible for 60 per cent of overall traffic at the airport.

Sales will effectively start before the end of this month.

Just recently, KQ celebrated one year since it launched the Nairobi-New York route.

During the year, the national carrier ferried over 105,000 passengers, operated 594 flights and continues to establish strategic partnerships to provide options for more seamless connections between Africa and US.

The airline was the first in East Africa to fly non-stop into a US city and since the launch of the NBO – NYC route on October 28, 2018, the national carrier has signed 15 Codeshare agreements which have seen it steadily penetrate the highly competitive US market.

Safarilink seeks to leverage on the destinations KQ has to increase its traffic in Kenya and Tanzania.

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