NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 27 – National carrier Kenya Airways has posted Sh4.7 billion loss in half year ended September 30, 2016, a 60 percent lower than Sh11.9billion posted in the same period last year.
The improvement was attributed to growth in cabin factor by 3.3 per cent during the period, with an increase of passenger numbers by 89,000 to 2.2 million and lower operating costs made possible by fleet rationalization.
However, the reduction in capacity saw revenues drop marginally by 3.5 per cent to Sh54.7 billion as decrease in wide body capacity led to revenue from cargo decreasing by 20.9 per cent.
The airline also suffered a foreign exchange loss of Sh1.6 billion while the cost of borrowing went up to Sh3.8 billion.
Kenya Airways CEO Mbuvi Ngunze said the firm has faced the challenge of currency fluctuations and a changing market environment driven by lower commodity prices.
“Kenya Airways has continued to be resilient despite these challenges managing to achieve improved results,” Ngunze added.
During the period, the airline had a one off cash injection of Sh1.7 billion from sale of assets and bridge loan amounting to Sh9.8 billion from the government.
“The airline’s turnaround strategy, ‘Operation Pride’ continues to be the main focus of the company going forward. It is a comprehensive programme endorsed by our key shareholders including the Government of Kenya and KLM,” the CEO states.
The airline is planning to introduce 30 new flight frequencies across the network this year, mainly in the continent.
“We are constantly relooking at our network to ensure we continue wining in Africa by offering the most reliable connectivity through our hub Nairobi. We have seen connectivity in the region improve by 14 per cent and are optimistic with our improved efficiency this will increase with the new schedule,” said Ngunze.
Former Safaricom Chief Executive Officer Michael Joseph has already taken over as Chairman after the resignation of Ambassador Dennis Awori following demands by the pilots association which had threatened to mobilize a major strike.
The exit came at a time when the airline under pressure both from the shareholders to assure the effectiveness of its turnaround plan after loses of close to Sh50 billion within two financial years.