Kenya Airways (KQ) is one of Africa’s largest airlines that have been in existence for years and one that has been able to withstand almost all the economic waves and turmoil and sailed through.
The airline has successfully completed the first ever of its fleet renewal program in the year that involved the acquisition of long delayed Dreamliners.
This was a huge investment that was undertaken by Kenya Airways to make sure that its services are both quantitative and qualitative, in an effort to make sure that its esteemed customers get all the comfort they deserve.
However, during this period when all these prestigious investments were being made, the business world both in Kenya and other countries was affected by terrorism and natural calamities like the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa.
Terrorist attacks on Kenyan soil from the militia Somali group Al-Shabaab has led to Western countries like United States of America and Britain to issue travel advisories to their citizens from visiting affected countries.
This meant that the majority of citizens from these countries who often travel to Kenya as tourists could not do that and this hurt the operations of Kenya Airways and revenue from countries issuing travel advisories against Kenya reduced.
The outbreak of Ebola in the West African countries greatly hindered travelling services from other countries into these countries.
People who used Kenya Airways to travel to these countries could no longer travel into these countries for fear of contracting Ebola.
There is no doubt that both internal and external factors adversely affected the operations of Kenya Airways for they not only hurt the airline but also the whole of the aviation and tourism sectors in the country.
There was also change in the prices of oil in the world market and the airline spent millions of shillings on the purchase of fuel in order to keep the planes flying.
The news, therefore, that Kenya Airways has realized a loss for the last year of Kshs 25.7 billion including unrealized losses on fuel derivative should not come as a surprise given the hostile environment that the airline had to operate in.