Apr 5, 2017

Boost for KQ as open sky deal with Seychelles secured

National carrier Kenya Airways has secured unlimited flights to Seychelles, boosting its turnaround strategy.

KQ has signed an MoU with the Seychelles Tourism Board which will allow the airline to increase its weekly flights to five from the current four.

But Maurice Loustau-Lalanne, Seychelles tourism, civil aviation, ports and marines minister, said Kenya Airways is free to increase its flights to any number depending on capacity.

"Kenya Airways is not restricted. It can go to seven or more. This is an open agreement," Lalanne said during the signing at the Transport ministry.

Read: Seychelles to import beef, poultry from Kenya, says it will bolster fishing industry

The agreement is expected to promote tourism and boost intra Africa trade.

It is also anchored on aspiration to strengthen the airline presence in Seychelles.

Increased frequency will increase KQs revenues, a boost to its ongoing recovery strategy as it strives to return to profitability.

"This partnership will also underscore the important role that Kenya Airways plays in the African economy development, specifically creating vital linkages between the continent and the international market, on which tourism and other key sectors depend on and thrive, " Kenya Airways CEO Mbuvi Ngunze said.

Lalanne also challenged KQ to ensure it has cargo capacity to handle exports and imports between the two countries, in the renewed bilateral trade agreements.

Sychelleses targets to export hundreds of tonnes of fish to Kenya, while import flowers, vegetables and meat products which they import from New Zealand Australia and Brazil.

Transport CS James Macharia affirmed the government's commitment to supporting Kenya Airways Operations. He said the government was also keen on securing more bilateral agreement.

The deal comes a day after Seychelles President Danny Faure arrived in the country on a three-day state visit.

He signed bilateral agreements with the Kenyan government to increase trade, share skills and experience, by coming up with new marketing strategies.

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