Kenya Airways edges closer to turnaround, says chairman

Kenya Airways is about to conclude its capital restructuring, its chairman said Wednesday, edging closer to putting past financial woes behind it, the carrier’s chairman said.

The airline, part-owned by the State and AirFrance KLM, sank into the red four years ago after tourism slumped following a spate of attacks in Kenya by militants from the Somalia-based al Shabaab Islamist group. Last year the carrier had negative equity of $339 million (Sh35 billion), Reuters data showed, and the business was sustained by shareholder loans.

Its financial predicament caused delays in paying staff, industrial action and the ousting of chief executive Mbuvi Ngunze, who is being replaced by Sebastian Mikosz, a Polish national who has prior experience of turning around an ailing airline.

“We are heading towards a conclusion on the capital-restructuring. We hope now that we will conclude this end of June, middle of July,” Michael Joseph, the airline’s chairman, told Reuters Wednesday.

Mr Joseph said the major shareholders, including the Kenyan Government, were involved in the restructuring, without providing more details.

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