The national carrier, Kenya Airways net loss for the year ended December 2018 rose to Ksh.7.59 billion before tax compared to last year Net loss of Ksh.6.41 billion.
The net loss after tax was Sh5.9 billion from Sh5.1 billion. The airline’s management defended the increase stating that the financial year 2018 covered 12 months compared to the 2017 financial year that covered 9 months.
Even so, the total revenue for the year 2018 grew to Sh114.4 billion compared to Sh80.7 billion in 2017 mainly boosted by growth in passenger revenue. “2018 was a challenging year for KQ, we have however seen growth in passenger numbers. The management team has done a great job under the circumstances and thanks to the board for the massive support,” said Michael Joseph, Chairman Kenya Airways Board.
The company cited fuel costs as the greatest challenge as fuel represents over 40% of direct operating costs.
“Fuel is our greatest challenge & this will be for a while, oil prices are up by 30%. Fuel represents over 40% of our direct operating costs. We started mitigating this risk by implementing a new hedging policy with minimal risk.”-CEO Sebastian Mikosz.
The airline’s Chairman, Michael Joseph noted that KQ was not just an airline but a strategic asset for the country.
“KQ is not just an airline but a strategic asset for the country. We should be proud of what KQ has done for Kenya & support, we can help improve the country’s GDP and create employment opportunities despite our challenges.”-Michael Joseph. He called upon the media, investors, and the government to support the airline.
In his part CEO Sebastian Mikosz noted that Africa had the highest growth rate in the world and is important to KQ market and business.
He noted that “Traffic to and from JKIA is the smallest at 7.2 million across the continent. Regional carriers network coverage in Africa is broader and our role is to defend our hub and grow it.”
“New York is symbolic. This route is challenging, but it allows us to position KQ and Kenya differently. We are flying 5 weekly frequencies, we adjusted this to cater to the seasonality of the route. From January to August, we will fly daily.”-CEO Sebastian Mikosz.