Kenya Airways plans to reduce the number of flights between Nairobi and New York due to low sales.
The information, first published by atcnews, noted that the high profile launch of daily flights from Nairobi to New York will soon see a reduction of flights in November for ‘Commercial Reasons’, management’s concealment language for low sales.
“Questions are being asked now how the KQ management and board – after all had already months ago doubts emerged if the airline could sustain daily departures – decided to go ahead with the launch of daily flights when the writing was already on the wall that sales were too low to warrant such an investment.” Atcnews said.
A local daily also reported that the KQ management announced that its winter schedule for all its flights took effect from October 2018 and will run until March 30, 2019.
“We cancel flights that are not commercially viable, so this is not unique to this route,” An official quoted by business daily said.
Atcnews also reported that speculation is rife that the airline’s political masters which gained undue influence on the board over the past two years, were getting carried away and pushed the KQ management into this decision, one which by the look of it is now spectacularly backfiring within days of a high profile launch.
“In contrast are cooler heads prevailing at RwandAir which is also planning to launch flights to New York in 2019 but where a more cautious approach was chosen with but a few flights per week to start with similar to what they were doing on their route to London and Brussels. In Kigali will hard facts and not wishful thinking bring about a decision, when the dice for KGL NYC flights are finally rolled.” Atcnews said.
In August this year, the airline announced a 30.8 percent improvement in pre-tax results for the six month period ended June 30, 2018.
The cabin factor increased by 2.8 poin ts to 75.9 percent. Revenue increased by 3.1 percent due to increased passenger traffic and overall yield improvement. The direct operating costs increased by 13.9 percent due to increased pressure on global fuel prices.
The fleet costs reduced by 2.2 percent attributed to the fleet rationalisation completed in November 2017.
Overall, the Group’s results improved by 30.8 percent from a pre-tax loss of Kshs 5,771 million in 2017 to Kshs 3,992 million for the period ended 30 June 2018.