National carrier Kenya Airways has sunk further into the red, posting a Sh7.86 billion loss after tax for the year ended March due to a major drop in passenger numbers.
The decline in travel came about after several foreign governments advised their citizens against travelling to the country due to security concerns, the company said today, but analysts point to a trend of hemorrhage in business that has pushed the “Pride of Africa” into a nose-dive.
This is the second full-year loss since the airline, which is 26.73 per cent owned by Air France KLM, listed in 1996. Revenues fell 8.4 per cent to Sh98.86 billion, results released today morning show.
The airline is mulling opening a hotel to have a bite of the ever-growing hospitality industry income. Kenya has experienced a series of terror attacks since it sent its soldiers into Somalia in 2011 to drive out the Islamic militant group al-Shabaab.
Business was also curbed by anxiety over Kenya’s election in March, after the last election in 2007 ended in a dispute and bloodshed. This year’s vote was largely peaceful. Chief Executive Titus Naikuni said the airline was expecting to receive its first Boeing 787 Dreamliner plane in the first quarter of 2014, to replace its ageing fleet of B-767s.
“We expect our first Dreamliner to land in Nairobi in March 2014,” he told investors, referring to orders whose delivery have been hit by several delays, impacting Kenya Airways’ performance.
The airline is looking at the possibility of opening a hotel in Nairobi to cut costs associated with putting up staff and passengers whose flights have been delayed. “That is one of the projects that we are looking at this year and that will reduce our costs,” he said.