KQ signs fresh 6-year ticketing deal with Spanish tech company

Kenya Airways has signed a new six-year partnership with Spanish-based international travel firm, Amadeus, which gives the national carrier access to a global network of travel agents.

A Kenya Airways plane at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. Travel agencies are an important  sales channel for the airline. PHOTO | FILE

A Kenya Airways plane at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. Travel agencies are an important sales channel for the airline. PHOTO | FILE

The Spanish firm has similar agreements with over 500 airlines globally.

The partnership will see the loss-making Kenya Airways continue to access the channel to grow its international customer base.

Amadeus subscribers will see on its portal Kenya Airways’s fares, schedules, flights availability and all other information that is also offered through the airline’s direct distribution channels.

“This deal demonstrates our confidence that Amadeus adds value to our business as a technology partner and distribution channel to the global travel industry. Travel agencies remain an important sales channel for us, particularly as we grow our business,” said Kenya Airways Head of Revenue Management Hellen Mwariri.

The airline has been on a loss-making streak that has been blamed on a range of issues including an aggressive expansion plan that has left it in losses, massive debt and facing accusations of inflated air ticket pricing.

KQ posted a record Sh25.7 billion net loss in the year ended March, sending shareholders’ net worth to a negative Sh33.9 billion.

The costly tickets have been blamed for driving business away to stronger rivals such as Ethiopian Airlines whose charges are lower.

A fare assessment done by the Centre for Aviation showed that the national carrier charged about $2,300 (about Sh230,000) on the Nairobi-London route, compared to Ethiopian Airline’s charge of $949 (about Sh94,900) and South African Airways’ $887 (about Sh88,700).

A Senate enquiry has called for the shake up of the airline’s management in a bid to reverse the record loss and as a condition for the government’s anticipated bailout.

Kenya Airways booked over 1.6 million of international and domestic customers last year through the IT firm.

“We are delighted to announce this new multi-year agreement with Kenya Airways that builds on our close and long-standing ties with the carrier.

This agreement ensures that the airline’s complete product range will be bookable by travel agents worldwide, allowing both parties to deliver great value to travellers,” says Juan Torres, Amadeus East Africa general manager.

The East Africa office is based in Nairobi and serves Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Djibouti, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan and Malawi.

Apart from working with airlines and travel agents, Amadeus works with travel providers (hotels, rail and ferry operators and airports) travel sellers like websites and corporations and travel management companies who form the biggest travel buyers.

Amadeus has had a global distribution partnership with KQ for the past 20 years during which the national carrier has implemented different Amadeus solutions including Amadeus Altea IT suite to manage reservations, ticketing and departure control processes.

– Business Daily