Kenya Airways (KQ, Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta) is planning to enter into a joint-venture with Air France (AF, Paris CDG) next year the Kenyan carrier's chairman Michael Joseph has announced. The two have an existing commercial partnership wherein Air France codeshares on Kenya Airways' regional African as well as Paris, Amsterdam, and London Heathrow services while Kenya Airways, in return, codeshares on Air France's regional European and North African services.

According to The Daily Nation newspaper, the partnership is an expansion of Kenya Airways’ existing tie-up with Air France's sister carrier, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (KL, Amsterdam), and will see the two revenue sharing on the Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta-Paris CDG route.

“Air France is set to commence local flights in April and we hope we shall have received the regulatory exemptions sought, which will allow us to partner with them instead of competing,” Joseph said.

The chairman added that the proposal has already been lodged with the Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK), with the national carrier hopeful of having the deal in place by April 2018. Once operational, Air France-KLM's transatlantic partnership could also be of use given Kenya Airways' plans to start flights to the US in 2018.

“KLM and Air France merged years ago and so it would be in all our interests to have a joint venture. Such a pact will also be advantageous for KQ as we draw closer to direct United States flights,” he said.