Kenya Airways has leased two of its planes to a Congolese carrier in its latest attempt at recovery. The national carrier leased two Embraer E190 jets to Congo Airways to boost domestic operations and flight frequencies in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Kenya Airways will also offer training to Congolese aviation officials through its Pride Centre and explore the exchange of technical personnel in various areas to ensure skills transfer between the two airlines.
Kenya Airways is currently targeting to progressively raise cargo operations to about 20 per cent of its capacity, up from the current 7 per cent.
“KQ is a key player in the aviation space in Africa, and with over 40 years of experience, this is an important step in enhancing cooperation to increase air connectivity and offer greater passenger and cargo options between the two countries. The timing of this agreement is correct as it will increase the utilization of our aircraft,” KQ chief executive officer Allan Kilavuka said.
The national carrier on Monday commenced direct cargo flights from Johannesburg to Lubumbashi.
“The enhanced network is built around KQ’s southern Africa operations in Johannesburg and is expected to provide further connections to additional points within the DRC and Africa,” Kilavuka said.
“This will provide customers with more convenient schedules and capacity at a time when the global industry has suffered capacity shortfall due to the pandemic as well as improve the profitability of KQ’s regional freighters on the return sector from Johannesburg.”
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Congo Airways’ Chief Executive Pascal Kasongo said increased air connectivity will provide better linkage to international destinations, enabling both countries to fly to a better future and build a resilient aviation industry that can stand the test of time.
The International Air Transport Associations (IATA) estimates that African airlines saw a combined loss of $2 billion (Sh220 billion) due to reduced passenger travel in 2020.