South African Airways, Kenya Airways, Air Mauritius and RwandAir are in talks to create an alliance before March 2019, in order to fend off competition (especially from Ethiopian Airways), protect market share and improve profitability, among others by expanding codeshares..
The four airlines have been discussing the alliance for over 15 months, and are currently putting final touches onto the deal.
“Air Mauritius took the initiative to join forces with three other African airlines in a bid to create an alliance that would develop air connectivity in the region,” the airline’s CEO Somas Appavou said on Wednesday.
“As an alliance, the partner airlines would also benefit from synergies in areas like maintenance, knowledge sharing and training while they will also have an edge in procurement activities.”
The continent’s aviation sector has been facing challenges, including high taxes, airfare and the cost of jet fuel, poor airport infrastructure, international competition mostly from Gulf carriers, and inward-looking aviation policies which have pushed three out of the four, except Air Mauritius into a loss-making territory for more than four years in a row.