The cooperation between Kenya airways and Congo Airways will cover technical capacity building,
commercial cooperation, and human resource training.
Nairobi, April 22nd, 2021 — Kenya’s national carrier, Kenya Airways PLC, has signed a
Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Congo Airways to collaborate, strengthen, and
bolster aviation ties between Kenya and The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The signing of the strategic cooperation was witnessed by H.E. President Uhuru Kenyatta and
his Congolese host H.E. President Félix Tshisekedi on the last day of President Kenyatta’s
three-day State visit of DR Congo. The partnership agreement was signed by Kenya Airways
Group CEO Allan Kilavuka and his Congo Airways counterpart Désiré Balazire Bantu in
Mr. Kilavuka highlighted the importance of the strategic cooperation between the two
national carriers and their role in enhancing trade exchange between the two countries and
the importance of collaboration on expertise that benefit the aviation sector, especially as
the aviation sector recovers from the devastating impact of COVID-19.
“The cooperation between Kenya Airways and Congo Airways will cover technical capacity
building, commercial cooperation and human resource training. Part of this will cover costeffective aircraft maintenance and technical expertise, particularly on the Embraer E-Jet fleet
training in engineering, flight deck and crew, route codeshare opportunities and other
synergies,” said Mr. Kilavuka.
“The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated containment measures aimed
at preventing the spread of the Coronavirus disrupted the aviation sector, with most markets
operating at reduced capacity and some fully shutting down. As the global economies
continue to rebound steadily, this commitment provides an opportunity to leverage on the
strengths of the industry players in the future,” added Mr. Kilavuka.
Kenya is looking to leverage the DRC market by diversifying its export destinations,
particularly when the COVID 19 induced disruption has brought into visibility the need for
deeper inter-regional trade. Kenya’s exports to the DRC were valued at 133M US in 2019. The
signing of the MOU comes two months after the 21st EAC Heads of State summit directed the
community’s council to expedite the verification mission following the application by DRC to
join the trading bloc. President Uhuru Kenyatta is in the DRC to strengthen bilateral ties.
Strengthened bilateral between the two countries will boost the National Carrier and Congo
Airways strengthen passenger and cargo transport businesses between the two markets and
the international network.
“Congo Airways is very excited about this agreement with Kenya Airways. This partnership
will contribute to the promotion and the development of both companies. The air transport
sector has been very impacted by the pandemic with COVID-19. Together we will provide
better solutions and innovations. In the future our companies will be able to face the single
air transport market as decided by the African Union,” stated Mr. Balazire Bantu.
KQ currently operates an Embraer maintenance service centre – through its Technical
Department – having flown the e-jets since 2008. Its Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul
(MRO) has two state-of-the-art hangers, mechanical and avionics workshops, and expansive
warehousing capable of handling line and base maintenance of several aircraft models,
including B737s E-Jets, and B787.
The DRC has a population of about 87 million. A GDP size of over USD82 billion presents a vast
market that members of the East African Community have been keen to tap into for years.
The International Air Transport Associations (IATA) estimates that African airlines saw a
combined loss of USD 2 billion due to reduced passenger travel in 2020. Kenya Airways
continues to diversify its services and operations in response to the ongoing impact of COVID19 on the aviation sector.
-About Kenya Airways
Kenya Airways, a member of the Sky Team Alliance, is a leading African airline flying to 41 destinations
worldwide, 34 of which are in Africa and carries over four million passengers annually. In 2020 KQ was
named Africa’s Leading Airline by the World Travel Awards. It continues to modernize its fleet with
its 32 aircraft being some of the youngest in Africa. This includes its flagship B787 Dreamliner aircraft.
Kenya Airways services London, Amsterdam, Guangzhou, Sharjah, Mumbai and over 25 intra-Africa
routesin addition to its passenger network. The on-board service isrenowned and the lie-flat business
class seat on the wide-body aircraft is consistently voted among the world’s top 10. Kenya Airways
takes pride in being at the forefront of connecting Africa to the World and the World to Africa through
its hub at the new ultra-modern Terminal 1A at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi.
About Congo Airways
Congo Airways is a state-owned company formed on August 15th 2014 which commenced commercial
operations on October 20th 2015. As an IOSA certified company, it is full member of IATA, AFRAA and
ATAF. The company owns two A320 and two Dash 8 Q400 bought on equity. It expects to receive
delivery of four Embraer E2 (two E190-E2 and two E195-E2). It operates 15 routes within its domestic
market and resumed flights within its regional market, including Johannesburg, South Africa, in
December 2020. The airline anticipates reopening additional routes in the second half of 2021 and
adding capacity on long haul destinations for cargo and passenger operations.