Since 2014, Kenya Airways has accumulated losses totalling to Sh89.3 billion and the figure is expected to rise following Tuesday’s announcement that its first-half loss doubled to Sh8.56 billion.
In a statement yesterday, the airline said it made Sh8.56 billion loss from January to June this year from Sh3.39 billion last year during the same period.
Kenya Airways attributed the loss to increased operating costs brought by its expansion into new routes.
Kenya Airways Group CEO Sebastian Mikosz said the carrier had a challenge recruiting pilots due to a “restrictive CBA”.
He said pilots were to blame for the increase in flight disruptions which has seen almost 40 per cent of its departures delayed, sometimes by more than an hour.
In May, Mikosz, had announced he would terminate his three years contract five months earlier due to “personal reasons”.
The national carrier also faces major competition from other airlines in Ethiopia, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.
The recently relaunched Uganda Airlines is expected to increase competition in the East African aviation business which is currently dominated by the Ethiopian Airlines.
In March, the national carrier trended on social media with Kenyans criticizing its management for employing many expatriates and placing them on “high unreasonable salaries”.
However, Mikoz, as reported by the Star, rubbished the claims saying out of the 3000 employees at KQ, only 18 were expatriates and consultants.
“Of the 18 employees, 5 are KLM managers seconded to KQ. Two of them are occupying senior positions: The Chief Operating Officer and the Head of Global Sales,” adding that “although they work for KQ, they remain KLM employees”.
The national government plans to rationalise the airline, which was privatized in 1996, in attempts to bring it back to profitability following five straight years of losses.
Here are some of Kenyans reactions following Kenya Airways reported loss:
With Uganda airlines launching international trips to Nairobi and other cities, with Air Tanzania also planning to start the same, Kenya Airways should be a worried airline.
— Abala Kinyua (Wuod Nyar Meru) (@KinyuaAbala) August 28, 2019
It is like Kenya Airways is in an economic Intensive Care Unit or even dead only that the mourners are still holding onto the body hoping it would resurrect. https://t.co/rMPVR8XC09 #SokoNews pic.twitter.com/TZ486hPbLo
— yvonne (@ms_ambete) August 28, 2019
The key word here being “if”. Otherwise as it is KQ is soon Resting In Peace like many other companies. They are determined to kill it and buy it at a throw away price. It’s not the age of the CEO that will fly it out of the turbulence. KQ is dead. Period
— Dorcas Sarkozy (@FatakanwaS) August 28, 2019