KLM, Kenya Airways target African routes

Nairobi- Kenya (PANA) -- KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Kenya Airways (KQ) plan to increase their routes within Africa under a joint partnership, to counter the effects of the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks on the US, officials said Tuesday.
"We want to grow into other routes, especially within Africa.
The options are open to us at the moment.
There are lots of routes available in Africa and due to the fruitful relationship we have had with KQ, it is our hope that our dream will come true," KLM General Manager for Nairobi office, Fischer Freuller said.
The KLM/KQ partnership currently covers only Nairobi-Amsterdam-Nairobi route, while Kenya Airways operates some 332 flights a week from Nairobi to over 26 destinations.
Freuller said KLM's objective is to widen the scope and increase the number of destinations for the two airlines.
This comes barely a week after KLM Vice-President and Area Manager for Africa, Ron Schipper, announced the airline's plans to strengthen its operation in Africa, in a bid to maximise earnings.
Experts say the aviation industry lost close to seven billion US dollars as a result of the 11 September terror attacks, with another 3.
5 billion-dollar loss projected for this year.
According to Schipper, many European airlines are yet to come out of the woods and are bracing for hard times.
"In Europe, there are a lot of alternatives to air transport, competition is becoming stiffer each day.
The growth of European airlines will depend on their partnership with African airlines," he said.
Freuller said KLM plans to introduce more capacities on its African routes to counter the gap left by European operators.
The aviation crisis has triggered a major decrease in demands for global business class bookings, she said, and urged African airlines to invest in partnerships.

26 february 2002 10:01:00




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