KQ loss triples to Sh36.57 billion — worst ever in the airline’s history

Kenya Airways Planes parked at JKIA/ TWITTER

Kenya Airways’s loss for last year tripled to Sh36.57 billion before tax — the worst ever in the history of the airline — following the grounding of air travel by Covid-19 pandemic.

KQ on Tuesday said its revenue plunged by more than half during the period ending December 2020.

CEO Allan Kilavuka said passenger numbers dropped significantly during the year under review to 1.8 million compared to 5.2 million in 2019, making the turnover to shrink by 60 per cent to Sh52 billion.

The airline’s basic loss per share jumped to Sh6.22 in 2020 from Sh2.23 in the previous year.

The world aviation sector loss is estimated at $14 billion (almost Sh15 trillion) in revenue.

Cargo volumes also went down during the period, as the carrier grounded some flights, leading to reduced belly space.

KQ chairman Michael Joseph said the outlook still looks bleak and the airline will be seeking a right-sized network to match the prevailing demand.

“The Covid-19 global outbreak in 2020 was beyond anyone’s prediction and its impact on the industry is expected to continue affecting air travel demand for the next two to three years,” Joseph said.

Joseph said approximately 70 per cent of the total passengers carried in 2020 were flown during the first three months of the year, demonstrating the drop in demand as the global crisis deepened during the year.

The results mean KQ has now gone for eight straight year without profits, extending its accumulated losses to Sh128.76 billion.


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