Last year, the airline embarked on aggressive cost-cutting and cash conservation measures to minimize the pandemic’s impact on the airline. The airline had to renegotiate contracts with suppliers and add extended payment plans in addition to a reduction in distribution.
With the currently renewed lockdown and additional travel restrictions imposed in response to new coronavirus variants, and with the slow progress of vaccination programs, the market situation has tangibly worsened since the beginning of this year.
Nevertheless, the Kenyan government is counting on nationalization to turn around the flag carrier’s fortunes but many believe this move will simply paper over cracks and serve to erase the positive cash balance of the Kenya Airports Authority. The Nairobi Stock exchange suspended the trading of Kenya Airways shares for six months to enable the restructuring and nationalization of the airline to be concluded
But this week parliament rejected moves by the president to appoint a largely government and military-led body, the National Civil Aviation Council (NCAC) that will oversee the National Airline, the country’s regulator and the Airports Authority. Calls have been made for sections of the National Aviation management bill that relate to the creation of the NCAC to be amended with suggestions that its composition should be on merit and with seasoned aviation professionals given priority.
With no further progress in COVID-19 vaccinations and with demand likely to have been only deferred, Kenya Airways continues to help its customers in all their travel plans by offering flexible rebooking options in all fare categories.