National carrier Kenya Airways says it’s seeking a loan of ksh 4 billion from the government to stay afloat.
The airline made the revelation on Wednesday. This announcement confirms speculations that the carrier tried finding ksh 7 billion to continue its operation amid the covid-19 pandemic.
KQ’s group chairman Michael Joseph confirmed the airline applied for a loan of ksh 9 million in January. It has since received ksh 5 billion to refurbish both general and engineering operations.
Mr. Joseph said he expects the second part of the loan by July 1. He added the money would help meet staff benefits and additional fleet costs as the airline awaits to continue its full operations soon.
“We’ve remained grounded for three months. Since that period, we maintained all our 38 airplanes. We must meet all insurance costs and pay for leases whether the planes operate or not.
We have officially asked for aid from the government, and we’re waiting for their response,” said Mr. Joseph.
The covid-19 pandemic has dented KQ operations severely, with most airlines grounded since March 15. The move followed the international containment measures, which saw most airlines close shop.
Following the move, KQ survived its lifeline through cargo operations using its three Boeing 787 passenger aircraft.
Although the ongoing pandemic raises concerns regarding the future of Kenya Airways, newly appointed CEO Allan Kilavuks says it’s an opportunity for the airline to reinvent.
“Nobody knows how the pandemic may appear in the end. In the meantime, it offers time to retrospect and reflect on better ways of managing the aircraft.
While preparing for a potential return of June 8, first, the airline seeks to analyze its network in line with market recovery trends following the pandemic.
Further, Kenya Airways plans to pin its sustainability on the recently passed reforms by the Aviation Holding Company.
The company is after merging the national carrier with Airports Authority (KAA) to be tabled in parliament shortly.