KQ reduces loss by 6pc

By Judith Akolo 

The sell and sub-leasing of Kenya Airways aircrafts has seen its revenue kilometers reduce by 6 percent between October and December 2016 when compared to a similar period the previous year.

The airline’s belly cargo available tonne kilometers also declined by 11 percent. The fleet rationalization programme helped improve the passenger Cabin Factor by 3.4 percent to 65.6 percent.

Kenya Airways sold or subleased several aircrafts last year, among them the Boeing 777 under its restructuring programme.

This was meant to help the loss making carrier optimize its use of the fleet.

However, this hurt its seat capacity that dipped 3.4 percent during the third quarter ending December 2016 when it had a total capacity of 3,553 million seat kilometers compared to 3,676 million offered in a similar period prior year.

Capacity offered into the Middle East, China and India declined compared to the same period the prior year as the airline deployed the Boeing 787-8 and Boeing 737-800 aircraft, as compared to the higher capacity Boeing 777-300 largely used in the previous year.

The airline’s capacity into Northern Africa region grew 9.6 percent driven by increased frequencies to Addis Ababa and Juba.

In the East African region capacity rose 7.1 percent driven by more operations on the Boeing 737-800, which has a higher capacity, with additional frequencies.

KQ registered a recovery on the West, South and Central African regions whose capacity grew 2.5 percent on account of the introduction of the Nairobi-Entebbe-Bangui route, as well as the Nairobi-Doula-Bangui flight.

Additional frequencies offered by Jambojet into Ukunda, Malindi and Lamu saw capacity on the domestic front grow by 1.5% during this quarter compared to the same period the prior year.

The reduced number of aircrafts also negatively affected the cargo business. The belly cargo available tonne kilometers declined 11 percent while the revenue kilometres reduced by 6 percent due to a reduction in wide body capacity in line with the fleet rationalization.

Meanwhile, the annual passenger movement in Kenya’s airports has risen from 8.8 million in 2012 to the current 9.4 million.

Kenya Civil Aviation Authority blames the slow growth to dominance and lack of formidable competition that has resulted in high air ticket charges.

Cargo volumes have dropped from 309,000 to 255,000 tonnes due to new restrictive regulations in the European countries on the quality of products accessing their markets.