KENYA AIRWAYS ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING LOOKS AT THE FUTURE
The Pride of Africa’s Annual General Meeting last week, inspite of attempts by a few disgruntled individuals attempting to protest outside the venue, went ahead smoothly and dealt with the business set out on the agenda. The airline’s CEO and Group Managing Director Dr. Titus Naikuni, in his report highlighted the challenges for the company’s continued profitability, and expressly told his audience that: ‘We believe that the more we control our costs, the more will continue being profitable. Kenya Airway’s case is not isolated since a similar trend is occurring among other leading airlines globally’.
Dr. Naikuni also spoke in length on the ongoing expansion of the airline’s hub, Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, where he had this to say: ‘By the fourth quarter of the next financial year, an additional capacity to handle up to two and a half million more passengers, would be added at the airport, but this is not enough. In addition to this, more parking for vehicles and aircrafts would be available’. This was perceived as a sharpish reminder to government to pull out all the stops with the Project Greenfield, under which a long overdue second runway will be constructed as well as a mega terminal, which on completion will be used by Kenya Airways and their partner airlines.
In the last financial year did escalating operating costs almost negate the effect of a 24 per cent growth in revenue by Kenya’s national carrier. Among the costs that shot up during the year was labour, driven by new contracts extorted by the radical Aviation and Allied Workers Union, and fuel cost which went up by 19.6 per cent and 64 per cent respectively. Regulatory fee increases too contributed to a sharp rise in cost, as for instance landing fees that rocketed by 35 per cent.
The airline’s chairman Evanson Mwaniki and Dr. Cyrus Njiru, who is also the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Transport, were both re-elected as directors of the company during the AGM.
The airline is presently rolling out its ambitious 10 year strategic Plan Mawingo under which the number of aircraft is set to triple by 2022 while the destinations will more then double, covering the entire globe. In the more immediate future though Kenya Airways is set to fly to every political and commercial capital in Africa by the end of next year, a rollout supported by the continued arrival of more Embraer E190 aircraft, the next of which is due this month in Nairobi. Watch this space.