Kenya Airways: Cash rich foreign investor wanted

The principal secretary nominee of the National treasury has proposed the sale of the national airline Kenya Airways to a ‘cash-rich foreign investor’ in a bid to return the carrier to profitability.

Speaking at a Departmental Committee on Finance and Planning on November 14, 2022, Kiptoo said that a strategic investor with a solid financial position would inject capital and offer management expertise in the next step of restructuring for Kenya Airways.

“It is time to relook at the national carrier and ensure it continues operating without government support. We need to bring in a strategic investor,” he said.

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Kiptoo also noted that Kenya Airways operated profitably when supported by KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and that the government must return to this model to return the airline to profitability. At the moment, Air France KLM owns 7.76% of Kenya Airways.

Earlier, the Roads, Transport and Public Works Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen had alluded to a plan to split Kenya Airways into various subsidiaries along its primary business divisions of passenger, cargo, and ground handling services, all operating at a loss.

The chronically-loss-making airline has been surviving on state bailouts since the pandemic. It reported a KES 9.8 billion shilling ($80.3 million) loss in August 2022, an improvement on the KES11.48 billion ($94,1 million) loss in the same period in 2021.

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Credit: Airspace Africa

Wole Shadare