On Saturday, Kenya Airways, the flagship carrier of Kenya which used to serve 53 destinations across the globe, had resumed its international flights to 30 destinations for the first time in four months. In point of fact, Kenya Airways grounded its operations on mid-March after the World Health Organization had termed the highly contagious pathogen invasion as a global scale pandemic on March 11.
Nonetheless, the Kenyan carrier in which the Air France KLM holds a minor stake, had resumed its domestic flights in mid-July following a clearance from the Government for local air travels, though the carrier had also warned at the time that it would lay off an unspecified number of workers over the coming months, offload some of its assets and reduce its network in order to grapple with the pandemic driven economic downturn.
Kenya Airways expects demand to hover below 50% of capacity until year-end
If truth is to be told, the beleaguered airline, which offers entrance into a number of Central African countries, had been suffocating under debt-piles even before the onset of the pandemic outbreak, while the Kenyan flagship carrier had reported an annual loss of around $120 million (13 billion Kenyan Shilling) last year.
Adding further strains into the struggling airline, Kenyan stock exchange suspended trading of Kenya Airways’ stocks for three months citing Govt. plan to revamp the carrier after the airline had submitted a proposal to nationalize the carrier.
Meanwhile, speaking to the reporters ahead of a flight to London on Saturday, adding that the company was expecting below 50 per cent capacity for the rest of the year, Kenya Airways Chief Executive Allan Kilavuka said on Saturday, “We announced we are starting with 27 destinations, we increased it to 30 just following demand.
In fact, 2020, we call it a lost year. Because at some point we even see demand of 25% in some months, in some months we see 38%,” adding that the airline had laid off 650 pilots and cabin crews so far.