“There is actually no way KQ can be profitable in its current state. I don’t know how to do that,” these were the words of Sebastian Mikosz, the Polish aviation turnaround expert that the government hired to bring Kenya Airways back to life.
In other words, Mr. Mikosz was admitting that Kenya Airways was either dead, in the ICU or breathing its last from the aviation world. The man was probably telling Kenyans that he was not the messiah they thought who would resurrect KQ from the land of the dead.
What Mikosz is still doing at KQ, after loudly admitting that he cannot turn around the company, the sole reason why he was hired and still being paid for, makes me wonder. But again, why wonder? This is Kenya. Right.
To be fair to Mr. Mikosz, he said the truth. Truth hurts sometimes. Actually, the truth is the pill that every human being wants to have but too bitter to swallow. The truth from what the man from Poland said is Kenya Airways is dead. As dead as Uchumi or Nakumatt with the only thing remaining being the drafting of a eulogy. That is the truth.
Kenya Airways fell into a hole 7 years ago when it shocked the country for registering a loss of 27 billion shillings. This was the biggest loss ever recorded in Kenya’s history. It was obvious that the loss was not natural but few individuals seemed to had orchestrated the loss of billions from the once ‘Pride of Africa.’
As it is the norm, nobody has ever been arrested or jailed or questioned over the circumstances under which Kenya Airways moved from glory to grass. The same people who gave hope to shareholders that KQ would be back to making profits in 6 months three years ago are now saying, it cannot be done.
Just recently, the airline launched direct flights from Nairobi to New York, ruled with pomp and color. A few months later, they are saying that the route is not viable and might not make profits for the airlines soon as expected.
The management of Kenya Airways is pushing that the only way KQ will survive is by taking over the management of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA). According to Mr. Mikosz, nothing short of the takeover will save KQ from “total collapse.”
Mikosz did not mince his words. He said, if nothing changes, Kenya Airways, in a span of five years, will diminish to the level of its low-cost subsidiary, Jambojet.
To save Kenya Airways, the government should first accept and acknowledge that the airline is ailing, that it is almost taking its last breath. Questions as to what put KQ in its current state should be asked. Those who were in charge then should provide answers or else, we should forget about KQ.