The call seems to have been heard, and even responded to beyond Joseph’s initial target. “Three West African companies have shown interest, but we have also been approached by the company of a Southern African state,” Martin Gitonga, director of network and alliances at Kenya Airways, told us, albeit expressing his surprise at such a move. It is, according to him, proof of the interest in the project that was unveiled in November 2021 with the signing of a strategic partnership framework between the two national carriers, both of them weakened and undergoing restructuring.
Although Kenya Airways is currently privately owned and 51% of SAA’s shares are about to be bought by the Takatso consortium, the process of rapprochement is conducted primarily at the state level. The November 2021 agreement was signed in the presence of Presidents Cyril Ramaphosa and Uhuru Kenyatta, who had paid an
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