Kenya Airways Boeing 787
Kenya Airways more than halved its losses for the financial year ended March 31, compared to the preceding 12 months. The East African carrier recorded a post-tax loss of KES3.38 billion ($38.6 million), compared to KES7.86 billion in the year-ago period.
Various other financial adjustments, including a gain made on hedged fuel contracts, gave a “total comprehensive loss” of KES2.98 billion, compared to KES5.28 billion in 2012-13.
Turnover was up KES7.1 billion at KES106 billion. Direct operating costs fell slightly, by KES1.9 billion to KES75.2 billion, mainly due to lower fuel costs.
ASKs were up 1.8% at 14.2 billion, while RPKs were down 2.8%, at 9.3 billion. Despite the latter drop, passenger yield in US cents improved 7.9%, which the carrier attributed to better revenue management.
The airline said the first half of its financial year had been profitable, but the second half saw a downturn due to a series of external factors.
The serious fire in August at its home base, Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, affected the flow of transit passengers through Nairobi. “Although concerted efforts by all stakeholders ensured that the problem was mitigated in record time, this incident continued to exert immense pressure in the sales front owing to bad publicity,” the carrier said.
The September 2013 attack by Somali terrorists on Nairobi’s Westgate Mall shopping center, plus other terrorist attacks on coastal areas near the Somali border, “significantly eroded leisure travel from traditional markets.” This led some countries to issue travel advisories against travel to Kenya.
And, while the airline successfully began services to several new destinations—including Livingstone (Zambia), Blantyre (Malawi) and Abu Dhabi—changing market dynamics, plus civil unrest in Libreville (Gabon), Bangui (Central African Republic), Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) and Cairo led to suspensions of services.
The airline said the growth into the Middle East and China was spurred last year by the arrival of a Boeing 777-300, which began operating daily flights to Guangzhou. Its strategy of providing connections between intra-Africa points to China and India remained and would be boosted by the arrival of its Boeing 787s.