Etihad Airways is set to expand its reach across Africa after signing a strategic commercial partnership agreement with Kenya Airways.
The Abu Dhabi carrier said it will place its EY code on Kenya Airways flights from Nairobi to 27 destinations across its network in Africa.
As part of the reciprocal codeshare agreement, Kenya Airways will place its KQ code on Etihad's daily service from Nairobi to Abu Dhabi and, subject to government approval, onwards to up to 32 destinations.
Kenya Airways will also launch a new three times a week service between Nairobi and Abu Dhabi from mid-summer 2013 as part of the deal.
Etihad said the new codeshare with Kenya Airways will complement its existing scheduled service between Nairobi to Abu Dhabi.
James Hogan, Etihad Airways president and CEO, said: "The partnership agreement with Kenya Airways is in line with our strategy of forming alliances with airlines around the world to enhance our network and marketing reach. This agreement will also allow both airlines to benefit from cost savings achieved through synergies and economies of scale.
"Last year we launched new services to Tripoli, Nairobi and Lagos, and over the last five years we have more than doubled our services to Africa, reflecting the increasing importance of the continent.
"During the same period we have flown nearly three million passengers between Africa and the UAE, and key destinations across our network."
Kenya Airlines joins a growing list of airlines to have launched new services to Abu Dhabi as a direct result of Etihad's partnership strategy.
The codeshare agreement with Kenyan Airways brings to 42 the number of Etihad Airways codeshare partners, creating a combined passenger network of 349 destinations, more than any other Middle East airline.