NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 21 – Kenya Airways (KQ) made a Sh6.1 billion loss in the nine months from April to December 2017.
Chief Executive Sebastian Mikosz attributed the loss to the prolonged electioneering period that saw KQ’s domestic traffic go down by 20 per cent in the period under review compared to same period the year before.
Also to blame was the rising cost of oil prices that went up by 14 per cent in 2017 posing the biggest challenge to profitability.
“Rising cost in oil prices is the biggest challenge to profitability,” Mikosz said.
Operating profit was at Sh1.3 billion while total overheads were at 15.5 billion. Passenger numbers hit 3.42 million in the period under review.
Going forward the airline plans to fly daily to Mauritius and it says it is targeting digital distribution of flights.
“This year we foresee a challenging environment however we look to grow KQ profitably and maintain cost efficiency. We’ll also be re-introducing our 8th Dreamliner back, the one that was leased to Oman air which is expected back in September this year,” he said.
The airline is also betting on more Joint Ventures, maintaining cost efficiency, new routes as its strategy for 2018 going forward.
“We are excited about the New York route to start in October; we are also working on new routes to be announced in the first half of 2018,” he added.
Mikosz also announced that it will roll out economy comfort class on all aircraft in the next 12-15 months as part of its strategy to increase revenues.
The local carrier changed its year end from March to December to match other airlines.
As at March 2017, the pride of Africa cut their losses by 61 percent to hit Sh10.2 billion compared to the Sh26 billion it recorded in 2016.