•This partnership follows an earlier one signed with Emirates Airlines, which granted Emirates customers an opportunity to explore 28 new destinations on the Kenya Airways network.
•The increased focused on deals with other international airlines saw KQ post Sh998 million operating profit in 2023 compared to Sh5 billion which it reported in 2022.
Kenya Airways (KQ) and airBaltic (BT) have signed an interline agreement to enhance connectivity and expand routes between Africa and the Baltic countries.
KQ hopes to leverage on Latvia’s national carrier which flies to more than 70 destinations in Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and the Caucasus to penetrate into new markets.
The Baltic countries include Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania which are members of European Union.
Kenya’s national carrier has in the recent past resorted to partnerships in a bid to grow its operations and regain profitability after state cut its support for the airline.
The increased focus on deals with other international airlines saw KQ post a Sh998 million operating profit in 2023 compared to Sh5 billion loss which it reported in 2022.
The translated to the airline's revenue increasing to Sh75 billion.
Under the new agreement, Kenya Airways will extend its European reach through key hubs such as Amsterdam, Paris, and Dubai.
In return, airBaltic passengers will be able to book a through ticket to Nairobi and enjoy seamless connections to Kenya Airways destinations across Africa including Uganda, Tanzania, Seychelles, Mauritius, South Africa among other regional points across Africa.
“This partnership gives us an opportunity to explore and extend our reach in Europe, further diversifying our routes as we work towards serving our customers better. Our aim is to provide connectivity for Kenya Airways customers and provide them with more travel choices across Europe” said Kenya Airways, Chief Commercial and Customer Officer Julius Thairu.
The deal comes at a time that Kenya has received the European Commissions’ approval for the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union, inching closer to a deal which will give the country’s goods duty-free access to the vast market.
This partnership follows an earlier one signed with Emirates Airlines, which granted Emirates customers an opportunity to explore 28 new destinations on the Kenya Airways network.
Air Baltic, Senior Vice President for Network Management Thomas Ramdahl expressed optimism that this partnership will redefine the travel experience, offering passengers new opportunities and convenience while strengthening the bonds between Kenya and Latvia.
“In order to give our customers additional flexibility and travel options, we are glad to team up with Kenya Airways. By working together, we can give our customers seamless connectivity and more options when booking their travel between Africa and the Baltics,” said Ramdahl.
While Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania are often collectively referred to as the Baltic countries, however, these are independent nations with a combined population of approximately 6 million.
All three countries are members of the European Union, boast high-income economies as per the World Bank classification, and maintain a very high Human Development Index.