Kenya Airways plans to expand its fleets despite six years of accumulative loses.
The airline has its eyes on Rome and Geneva as possible new routes by June 2019.
According to the companies CEO Sebastian Mikosz, continued expansion is the only way the airline will be able to counter the stiff competition from its peers.
The carrier posted a Ksh7.55 billion net in 2018, bringing its cumulative net loss for the past six years to KSh77.2 billion. According to KQ, a 30 per cent increase in fuel cost, new routes, and aircraft impairment led to high operating expenses and subsequently resulted in the huge KSh7 billion net loss.
Kenya Airways managed to grow its daily passenger traffic from 12.4 thousand passengers in 2017 to 13.3 thousand passengers in 2018. Its cargo business also improved from 174 daily cargo uplifts to 176 uplifts daily. The number of flights by the national carrier jumped up to 65,684 from 64,602 flights recorded the previous year.
In October 2018, KQ began flying to the US with the incredible Nairobi – New York flight. As of 31st December 2018, the route had flown 15,000 passengers.
Mr. Sebastian dismissed talks about the journey being lucrative saying, “The Nairobi – New York route is not lucrative as some have said. The route is quite expensive and quite competitive.” Nonetheless, the executive said that the flight is essential because it contributes toward growing Kenya Airways passengers in other routes.
The company’s CEO said that the African Aviation industry is quite competitive. In order for KQ to continue operating alongside other carriers in the continent, it has to keep growing.
The airline is still hopeful that the partnership with Kenya Aviation Authority will be approved to enable it to compete with airlines that enjoy government protection and funding.