5 Things You Should Know About Kenya Airways.
1. Kenya Airways doesn’t fly Airbus.
Following 30th January 2000 crash of the Airbus A310 that plunged into the Atlantic Ocean minutes after takeoff, Kenya Airways decided to retire the Airbus it had and subsequently stopped procuring airplanes from French-based Airbus. The airplane had gotten into a stall and from the investigations by Le Bureau d'Enquêtes ET d'Analyses, there was a confusion in the cockpit about the stall warnings which gave the pilots a misjudgment that led to the crash. It was a night flight, and back then there was no visual reference for them to use. The plane went into a nose dive crash that resulted in 169 fatalities. Airbus refused to take the blame for the crash leaving bitter Kenya airways compensating the crash victims’ families. Airbus instead of correcting the flaw decided to train its pilots and engineers the techniques of identifying and dealing with a fake stall. It is 19 years since the crash.
2. Kenya Airways has only two fatal accident crashes.
This can make any casual observer conclude that Kenya Airways is the safest in Africa. Other than the Airbus flight 431, Kenya Airways recorded another fatal crash that happened in the swampy area of Cameroon. The pilots failed to notice an excessive bank and lost control immediately after takeoff, CAA, Cameroon’s civil aviation reported. The Boeing 777-800 killed everyone onboard. There were 114 passengers from 26 nationalities including two pilots. The 5th of May 2007 was a backlash year for Kenya Airways as it also started recording losses.
3. Kenya Airways has recorded losses of over 100 billion since 2013.
Kenya Airways investors have never enjoyed the profits of investing in a national carrier that should be making profits. The highest record of losses was in 2015 and 2016 where it recorded a 29.3 and 26.3 losses in billions of Kenyan shillings. That was a negative profit before taxes recorded. Since then the losses have declined. In the first half of 2018, it recorded a loss of 4 billion. Kenya Airways has proposed to take over the Kenya ports authority for a strategic plan in order to increase their profits. A move that has faced serious backloads of denial and resistance from KPA workers.
Kenya Airways has a total of 40 aircrafts the latest being the Boeing Dreamliner. This year it also reported that it was seeking to purchase 20 737 max planes from Boeing in a bid to increase their services and see if they can hit a break even .out of the 40 planes only twenty have been fully paid for, while the others are on lease. Others in the fleet are a Douglas DC, Embraer and Fokker’s that operate locally and in the east of Africa.
5. Kenya Airways is the ninth airliner in Africa to fly directly to the USA
Kenya Airways had unsuccessfully applied to the US FAA for permission to fly directly to the USA until recently when it achieved its category one status. The flight is yet to record profits with the carrier flying 5 times a week in the low season and 7 times a week during the peak seasons. If KQ uses this strategically I think they can hit a breakeven.
KQ is a highly privatized company with the government owning a mere 12 Percent and individual investors and KQ partners owning the rest. The share prices are as low as Ksh 100 per share with a dividend payout of Ksh 0.80 in the last year. Because it is highly geared most of the incomes go into settling the debts and paying for the leased planes, and thus recording the huge losses above. KQ is as poor as selling its landing slots in Heathrow airport of London.
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