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Mon 13 Jun 2005 04:00 AM

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Kenya Airlines one step closer to SkyTeam

Kenya's flag carrier has been earmarked for a position in SkyTeam, assuming it passes certain conditions including safety and IT.

SkyTeam, the global airline alliance, has selected Kenya Airways to be an associate member, paving the way for it to access SkyTeam’s extensive route network. Kenya Airways has said that when it attains full member status next year it would help the other SkyTeam members to access its routes network in Africa.

“We are the only African airline that is an associate member of SkyTeam. So at the moment this means that we can offer a lot of value to the other members that do not fly here,” said Hugh Fraser, commercial manager, Kenya Airways.

Last week, SkyTeam, led by Air France and Delta Air Lines, announced that the Kenyan airline, along with three other airlines, had been granted the go-ahead to start preparing to get associate membership.

“I would like to stress the point here, that we have not joined the team yet, we have only been selected and sponsored to start the joining process,” said Titus Naikuni, chief executive, Kenya Airways.

Before Kenya Airways can join SkyTeam, it has to meet certain conditions including standards in safety and improved IT, however with joining the team, Kenya Airlines would be joining one of the member airlines’ frequent flyer programs, accessing member airlines’ lounges for certain passenger classes and code sharing.

The other airlines selected along with Kenya Airways are Air Europa of Spain, Copa Airlines of Panama and Tarom of Romania.

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