Ethiopian and Kenya Airways fight for East Africa
Kenya Airways is expanding its influence in the African market, CAPA writes, aligning itself with smaller carriers and building Nairobi into a continental hub. The SkyTeam member and Africa’s fourth largest carrier is focusing on airlines in southern Africa (Mozambique, Botswana, Malawi, Angola) and recently announced plans to form a strategic partnership with RwandAir. Kenya Airways CEO Dr Titus Naikuni describes this partnership as being “in line with our strategy to exploit the untapped economic potential of the African continent”.
Meanwhile, Star Alliance’s Ethiopian Airways is looking at ways to strengthen its Addis Ababa hub. Ethiopian and Kenya Airways are in a fight for dominance of Eastern Africa. Both are consistently profitable, and Addis Ababa and Nairobi provide geographically convenient connections between Asia, Africa and Europe.
Ethiopian Airways is ahead in building ties to key markets such mainland China and North America. Kenya Airways is stronger within Africa. However, both carriers will have to fight off the huge advantage of the Gulf carriers, which will inevitably expand further in Africa.
[photo courtesy USAID]