The Kenya Airways Boeing 787 Dreamliner at the JFK International Airport after its maiden non-stop flight to New York, USA. PHOTO | PSCU Kenya Airways (KQ) has lost $8 million in revenue in about one month since it suspended flights to China as a precaution against the deadly coronavirus outbreak.
The losses on the Nairobi-Guangzhou route include foregone passenger and cargo revenue.
Acting chief executive Allan Kilavuka told The EastAfrican that China is a key cargo origin as well as a main feeder to the regional freighters, and the suspension of flights since the end of January has dealt a big blow to the airline’s revenues.
“We are looking at lost revenue of about $8 million, both passenger and cargo. However, various initiatives are in place to increase passenger and cargo revenues on other routes to minimise this impact,” said Mr Kilavuka.
The coronavirus has so far infected more than 75,000 people globally and killed over 2,200.
“I am optimistic that the situation in China will be under control soon and we will resume our service that continues to create convenience and a good flying experience for all our guests,” he added.
He said that KQ switched the aircraft that operated the route to China, to Dubai, from February 11, and changed the timing of the Bangkok flight from a midnight departure to early morning as a way of maintaining operational efficiency and minimising disruption to passengers.
“Due to our additional precautionary measures we have faced some delays in operations. We are working closely with the port health teams from the Ministry of Health as guided by the World Health Organisation who continue to monitor and advice on the next steps to take with regards to the coronavirus,” he said.
KQ’s stock on the NSE has fallen by 1.29 per cent over the past month to trade as low as Ksh2.29 ($0.022) per share on Thursday last week.
In the past seven years, the share price has dropped by over 75 per cent from a high of Ksh9.40 ($0.094) in 2013.
KQ, which is set to be delisted from the Nairobi Securities Exchange after parliament approved its takeover by the State, widened its losses for the year 2018 to Ksh7.5 billion ($75 million) from Ksh6.4 billion ($64 million) in 2017.Its net loss for the six months’ period to June 30, 2019 more than doubled to Ksh8.5 billion ($85 million) from Ksh4 billion ($40 million) in the same period the […]