NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 29 – Kenya Airways will soon take control of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport as part of a deal to secure the airline’s future.
Kenya Airways Chief Executive Sebastian Mikodz says KQ and Kenya Aiport Authorities are currently working on the partnership model.
“We got the cabinet approval two weeks ago. Investments in JKIA are critical for Kenya Airways,” Mikodz told a news conference on Wednesday.
“We want to follow all the procedures a public-private partnership entails, and we are working on modalities of it now,” he explained.
The tie-up was mooted in June to ring-fence JKIA’s position as a major regional hub as well as offer KQ a competitive edge in the face of stiff competition from regional and international carriers.
The deal will see KQ absorb JKIA staff who handle maintenance, catering, warehousing and ground handling.
“We are interested in growing JKIA as a hub, and by all means the airport is the most important supplier of ours because, without JKIA, KQ will just cease existing,” added Mikosz.
The move comes even as JKIA achieved the last point of departure status following President Uhuru Kenyatta and US President Donald Trump talks paving way for direct flights to the US.
The first flight will depart Nairobi to New York on October 28, 2018.
“This is a major achievement for Kenya as JKIA becomes one of the elite African airports to be certified as a last point of departure to the United States. JKIA is now poised to become the premier hub in Africa,” said KAA Managing Director, Jonny Andersen.