Daallo Airlines (D3, Djibouti) and Jubba Airways (Kenya) (3J, Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta) will on Thursday, February 19, announce the formation of the African Airways Alliance, a merged entity owned equally by founders of the two carriers.

The two airlines will continue to use their respective Jubba and Daallo brands after the merger, Jubba Chairman Said Qailie told Reuters, but will pool their fleets to include two leased A321-100s operated by Air Méditerranée (ML, Lourdes/Tarbes), one Jubba Airways (Kenya) B737-300 and an Aviostart (VSR, Sofia) BAe 146-200. In addition, two new Avions de Transport Régional (Toulouse Blagnac) turboprops will be acquired by the middle of the year for use on domestic Somali flights. Jubba Airways has already phased out its B737-200Adv. fleet and will replace its last remaining B737-400 5Y-BZL (msn 24550) by the A321-100 F-GYAN (msn 535) it has just taken delivery of.

“We are trying to attract other carriers to join the alliance to scale the business, to help growth and sustainability,” said Mohamed Yassin, the CEO of Djibouti-based carrier Daallo, said.

In terms of network presence, the merged carrier will see its reach extend from the current 13 destinations - which include Dubai Int'l, Galcaio, Bossaso, Kisimayu, Hargeisa, Jeddah, Mogadishu, Djibouti, and Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta - to include Addis Ababa, Entebbe/Kampala as well as various undisclosed Yemeni and European airports. Sister carrier Jubba Airways (JZ, Mogadishu) also has a Somalian AOC allowing it to operate domestically.