Kenya Airways swings to pretax loss


Kenya Airways posted an annual pretax loss, hit by a drop in passenger numbers after several foreign governments advised their citizens against travelling to the country due to security concerns.

The airline, which is 26.73 percent owned by Air France KLM , said on Friday it swung to a pretax loss of 10.83 billion shillings ($126.8 million) in the year ended March, only its second full-year loss since listing in 1996.

Revenues fell 8.4 percent to 98.86 billion shillings.

Kenya has experienced a series of gun and grenade attacks since it sent its soldiers into Somalia in 2011 to drive out the Islamic militant group al-Shabaab.

Business was also curbed by anxiety over Kenya’s election in March, after the last election in 2007 ended in a dispute and bloodshed. This year’s vote was largely peaceful.

Chief Executive Titus Naikuni said the airline was expecting to receive its first Boeing 787 Dreamliner plane in the first quarter of 2014, to replace it ageing B-767s.
“We expect our first Dreamliner to land in Nairobi in March 2014,” he told investors, referring to orders whose delivery have been hit by several delays, impacting Kenya Airways’ performance.

The airline was looking at the possibility of opening a hotel in Nairobi to cut costs associated with putting up staff and passengers whose flights have been delayed.
“That is one of the projects that we are looking at this year and that will reduce our costs,” he said.