NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 9 – Kenya Airways (KQ) has called on the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to lower safety evaluation fees to enable smaller airlines also undergo rigorous safety audits.
Kenya Airways Chief Executive Officer Titus Naikuni said on Thursday that the high costs hinder many low budget airlines from being properly certified by IATA and this could harm the industry.
“There are small airlines in Africa who do not access the full certification process. I think it is important for IATA to find a mechanism of helping (them) and by doing so it will help make our skies safer,” said Naikuni.
He also urged the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) to stringently ensure maintenance of high air safety standards across the Kenyan airspace.
He spoke when KQ received their second endorsement from the global aviation association following a rigorous safety audit of the airline’s operations.
During the event, he disclosed that their new cargo airline will be launched by the end of February month.
“The cargo freight airline will be launched by the end of this month and will help increase our cargo revenues,” he confirmed.
The ground safety audits covered the period of June and July 2011. Kenya Airways plans to expand its fleet from the current 34 aircraft to 107 in 10 years. To finance the acquisition of the aircraft, the airline is seeking to raise additional capital through a Rights Issue later this year.
The KQ boss said the airline continuously enhances its operational systems in order to ensure safety and quality of service to its customers.
IATA Regional Director for Africa, Gaoussou Konate commended the airline for its commitment to achieving the highest aviation safety standards. The certifications are the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) and the IATA Safety Audit for Ground Operations (ISAGO) certificates.
“There are only IOSA certified handlers providing services at six airports in South- Saharan Africa region. Kenya Airways was not only the first airline but the first ground handling service provider to attain ISEGO certification in the region,” said Konate.