Kenya Airways needs at least Sh45 billion to return to profitability, the airline’s Chairman Michael Joseph has said.
Speaking during an interview with Citizen TV’s Jeff Koinange in New York, Joseph hit out at the government over what he termed as lack of commitment to turn around the airline’s fortunes.
“It’s frustrating how the government is reluctant to act on anything …and as everyone knows I am very impatient and I need this turnaround to have been done by yesterday,” he said in the interview aired on Wednesday.
Joseph appeared in the interview alongside outgoing Kenya Airways CEO Sebastian Mikoz, who accused the government of allowing political interference in the running of the carrier.
Mikosz indicated that lack of knowledge and political interference led to the collapse of the Privately Initiated Investment Proposal (PIIP).
“The bull**** needs to stop. This is a political decision that has seen the airline lose out to other competitors in the region …in the long term JKIA will be around but KQ ………,” Mikosz stated.
Under the proposal, KQ was seeking to take over the management of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) from the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) for a period of 30 years.
During the interview, Mikosz explained that JKIA’s position as a regional hub has the potential of aiding KQ to turnaround its fortunes.
He indicated that his departure from the airline before the expiry of his term was as a result of various reasons including personal attacks.
“There are a lot of things that made me do this, I mean, I cut my contract by 5 months,” he told Koinange.
KQ is marking its one year anniversary of nonstop flights to the US where more than 105,000 passengers traveled using the airline during the period.