AS KENYA AIRWAYS DROPS BENIN AND GABON IS RWANDAIR THE MAIN BENEFICIARY
(Posted 19th September 2019)
Mounting losses on the routes from Nairobi to Libreville and Cotonou, and stiff competition from the likes of Ethiopian Airlines and in particular RwandAir, have seen Kenya Airways throw in the towel and, effective 14th of October, axe the two routes.
This will be music in the years of ET and WB no doubt, which have been serving these two cities for a long period of time, with RwandAir in fact establishing a second hub in Cotonou just over two years ago.
It is understood that passengers booked from Nairobi to these two destinations beyond the 14th of October, or in turn from these two cities to or beyond Nairobi, will be refunded their money or alternative arrangements offered to allow them complete their journeys.
This is the latest blow outgoing CEO Sebastian Mikosz has to suffer, with his plans of expansion now all in tatters and beating a hasty retreat from routes which have not made money for the airline, adding to the whopping 8.5+ billion Kenya Shillings loss he had to announce when H1 results of the 2019 FY were published a few weeks ago.
Meanwhile is opposition rising against the nationalisation of the airline, which was privatised after years of dismal performance as a parastatal some 23 years ago and initially showed great promise, making profits for many years.
The original Kenya Airways was formed in 1977 after the breakup of the East African Community and the demise of East African Airways.
Opinions are deeply divided if nationalisation can in fact see the airline survive, given the example of South African Airways which depends on constant bailouts to keep them flying in a state of technical bankruptcy, just like is the case with Kenya Airways.