Recently Kenya Airways was the talk of all mouths and truly as a country we were all proud of its stride. However all that glitters they say is not gold.
Jonny Andersen, Kenya Airports Authority CEO in an interview on NTV today said that while Kenya has made significant strides to become a major player in the African market, full potential is yet to be realised.
Mr Andersen projected a period of 3-4 years as a realistic timeline to meet its targets, by then he says, the country will have put in place the requisite infrastructure to outperform the regional competitors.
“I will say at the very least 36 months for us to upgrade our terminals and runways, fast exit ways and to employ the use of technology in our various operations. When we achieve that we will slowly but steadily start surging ahead of our competitors because we are Kenyans and we can do this,” said Mr. Andersen.
While Kenya has done well to secure Direct Flights to the United States Kenya Airways (KQ) is facing stiff competition from major players in the region including Ethiopian Airlines, Qatar Airways and Emirates at a time when Kenya is also working to secure direct flights to other global cities.
The experienced airline manager also warned that it will take at least half an year before the global market identifies JKIA as a “top” transit point in Africa. So far the direct flights to New York to and fro have recorded low number of bookings. He however allayed the fears saying that is normal for a new route.
“The route to New York has just started it will take time before it catches up. My best guest would be half an year,” said Mr. Andersen.
Hard pressed to explain on whether corruption had crippled service delivery at the authority, the former Director of National Airports in Norway he admitted that the vice has presented him with a number of challenges since he took over in 2016 but significant progress has been made to slay the graft dragon.
In February Senior Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) managers were said to be furious after Standard revealed that Jetways Airlines a local carrier was running unchecked operations in its miraa exports to volatile Somalia.
Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet led a group of top security officers to the JKIA to investigate the embarrassing breach that was potential in triggering a downgrade of the airport’s Category 1 international status.
Determined boss Anderson revealed in the interview that those who engage in corruption would lose their jobs like immediately.
Do you think KQ will survive the weaknesses?