Kenya’s national carrier Kenya Airways has narrowed its pre tax losses for the first half of the financial year, raising hopes that the struggling airline may beginning to turn a corner.
“I am pleased to announce on behalf of the board that our operating profit… profit at 900 million (shillings) is up 143 percentage points compared to last year same time when we made a loss, an operating loss of 2.2 billion (shillings), and the loss after tax has reduced 60 percent from 12 billion (shillings) last year same time to 4.8 billion (shillings)”, said CEO, Mbuvi Ngunze.
Despite the news, the airline stock dropped 11 percent to 6 shillings failing to impress investors who are worried about falling revenues.
The airline which is 27 percent owned by Air France KLM has reported four consecutive years of losses.
Kenya Airways saw its passenger numbers increase 4.2 percent to 2.2 million but this did not positively impact the company’s bottom line as it was eaten into by fuel hedging costs and foreign exchange losses.
Recent flight delays raising concerns of a go- slow and a threat by the pilots association to mobilise a major strike have added to the airlines troubles.
The recent appointment of veteran telecoms executive Michael Joseph as chairman this week has however helped lift sentiment at the airline.
While the fate of the CEO, Mbuvi Ngunze , on whether he will stay or exit the airline will be known in the coming days.