Kenya Airways (KQ) has announced an annual loss for the 10th year in row, even as the struggling national carrier maintains that it expects to post a profit in 2024.
For the financial year ended December 2022, Kenya Airways’ loss more than doubled to hit Ksh38.26 billion from Ksh15.87 billion the previous year. The carrier last recorded a profit in 2012, when it posted a Ksh1.66 billion net profit.
KQ has been surviving on multi-billion shilling taxpayer bailouts, with President William Ruto seeking out foreign investors to acquire it. In a trip to the United States in December, he held talks with Delta Air Lines Inc, the largest US carrier by market value.
“I’m willing to sell the whole of Kenya Airways Plc,” he asserted. “I’m not in the business of running an airline that just has a Kenyan flag, that’s not my business.”
The airline has been struggling under the weight of debts taken as part of its expansion program, and rising fuel costs. It has also been under pressure from pilots over non-payment of retirement benefits.
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Kenya Airways Chairman Michael Joseph however maintained his long-held stance that the airline could turn a profit by 2024.
“This 2023 looks good and we hope to continue this way. We really expect that by the end of this 2023, we will be in a break-even from a financial point of view and hit profit level in 2024,” Joseph stated.
Echoing Joseph’s sentiments, CEO Allan Kivuka blamed high fuel costs and a one-off finance cost of Ksh18 billion for holding back its financial performance in 2022, but voiced confidence of a profit being reported by 2024.
“We are emerging. I am very excited about what we are doing. We have a journey to walk to 2024 but green shoots of change have started to show,” he stated.
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