Virgin Atlantic and Kenya Airways Partner in New Codeshare Agreement

Render of tailplanes of Virgin Atlantic and Kenya Airways aircraft.
Image Credit: Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic (VS) and Kenya Airways (KQ) have firmed a new codeshare partnership agreement, providing greater access to Nairobi and beyond into East Africa.

The first phase of the agreement has launched today. It allows customers booking through Virgin Atlantic to directly purchase flights on Kenya Airways’ Heathrow to Nairobi service.  

Phase One: Nairobi and Beyond

Virgin Atlantic and Kenya Airways have now confirmed a new codeshare partnership. This is set to make travel between the UK, Africa, and the Caribbean a breeze.

The first phase of the agreement kicks off today. Virgin Atlantic customers can now conveniently book flights on Kenya Airways’ direct service from London Heathrow to Nairobi. This opens the door to exploring the wider East Africa region.

The partnership extends both ways. Soon, Kenya Airways passengers will be able to connect through London Heathrow to the Caribbean.

A getaway to various Caribbean destinations served by Virgin Atlantic is possible, including Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

SkyTeam Alliance Benefits

As fellow members of the SkyTeam alliance, this partnership benefits frequent flyers from both airlines.

Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club members and Kenya Airways’ Asante Rewards Platinum and Gold members can take advantage of SkyPriority services at both London Heathrow and Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

This includes priority check-in, baggage handling, and boarding, ensuring a smoother travel experience.

The SkyTeam alliance membership also allows Flying Club members to accelerate their rewards journey.

Since March 2023, members have been able to earn Virgin Points and Tier Points, as well as redeem Virgin Points on eligible flights.

Additionally, booking luxury safari holidays through Virgin Atlantic Holidays or Virgin Limited Edition allows Flying Club members to earn even more Virgin Points.

Quotes from Stakeholders

Juha Jarvinen, Chief Commercial Officer at Virgin Atlantic: “We’re excited to launch this partnership with Kenya Airways.”

“This collaboration provides more choice and flexibility for our customers, especially with Virgin Atlantic being the only UK airline to codeshare on the Heathrow to Nairobi route.”

Julius Thairu, Chief Commercial and Customer Officer of Kenya Airways: “By leveraging our complementary strengths and networks, we aim to enrich the travel experience for our valued customers.”

Easier Access to Kenya from the UK

Traveling to Kenya from the UK is now more straightforward than ever. Since January 2024, visitors from outside Africa, including those from the UK, only require an online travel authorization instead of a full visa.

Virgin Atlantic and Kenya Airways share a commitment to sustainability as members of the SkyTeam alliance.

Virgin Atlantic is continuously modernizing its fleet with next-generation aircraft.  In October 2022, Virgin Atlantic welcomed the first of 16 A330-900neos to the fleet. It continues its transformation towards 100% next generation aircraft by 2027. 

Kenya Airways became the first African airline to operate a potentially sustainable long-haul flight in May 2023.

About Virgin Atlantic       

Virgin Atlantic was founded by entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson in 1984, with innovation and amazing customer service at its core.

In 2023, Virgin Atlantic was voted Britain’s only Global Five Star Airline by APEX for the seventh year running in the Official Airline Ratings.

Headquartered in London, it employs more than 7,500 people worldwide, flying customers to 30 destinations across four continents throughout the year. 

About Kenya Airways

Kenya Airways is the flag carrier airline of Kenya. It was founded in 1977, after the dissolution of East African Airways.

The airline’s headquarters is located in Nairobi, Kenya, with its hub at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. The airline is a member of the SkyTeam alliance.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 5 Min Read
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