Kenya Airways was founded in 1946 and was a regional airline that served Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. For this reason, it was called East African Airways, and had its headquarters was in Nairobi.
At some point you might have noticed that Kenya Airways is abbreviated as KQ and not KA. You keep asking why and how did that come to be? And what does Q stands for?
Well, here is a brief explanation as to why Kenya Airways is abbreviated as KQ and not KA.
The relations between the three East African countries didn’t last long, which led to the collapse of the East African Community, and subsequently East African Airways. There was no need to have East African Airways if the three countries weren’t united as one.
Kenya Airways was born out of the fallen East African Airways. It was to go with abbreviations KA, but by that time the initials had already been assigned to Korea Air by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Korean Air started its operations in 1969, eight years before the launch of Kenya Airways.
Therefore, Kenya Airways had to settle for another initial, and was assigned the code KQ. That’s the reason why Kenya Airways is abbreviated as KQ and not KA.