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Kenya Airways Hires Jambojet Head As CEO & MD Effective April 1



The Board of Directors of Kenya Airways has appointed Mr Allan Kilavuka as the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the national airline, effective April 1, 2020.

Mr Kilavuka, who was the acting CEO of KQ starting January 1st 2020, was brought in to replace the immediate former chief executive Mr Sebastian Mikoz.

Mr Kilavuka was formerly the CEO of the national carrier’s subsidiary, Jambojet.

The Chairman of the Board, Mr Michael Joseph, has complemented Mr Kilavuka’s competence, as the incoming joint Managing Director and CEO of Kenya Airways.

“ It is particularly gratifying to me that the Board agreed to support the appointment of Allan to the full substantive role of CEO. During his short time as acting CEO of KQ, Allan has thrown all his energy into this role, whilst maintaining his position as CEO of Jambojet,” says Mr Joseph in a statement.

According to Kenya Airways, Mr Kilavuka has 23 years’ worth of experience in leadership, management, and Africa’s business environment. He has proven success in organisation set ups, change management, financial planning, process improvement and responsible strategic leadership.

“ The holder of an undergraduate degree in Commerce from the University of Nairobi, Mr Kilavuka will remain on the Board of Jambojet as CEO until March 31st, 2020 and thereafter as a representative of Kenya Airways. The new CEO will join the boards of all subsidiary companies that are owned by the airline,” says Kenya Airways.

But not all has been rosy for Kenya Airways.

The outbreak of the Wuhan coronavirus from China since last December has had an adverse effect on the performance of the national carrier.

” The airline remains in consultation with the Ministry of Health regarding the outbreak of the coronavirus. In the meantime, we have added precautionary measures to ensure that our staff and passengers are safe such as screening all of our passengers at Guangzhou airport . Passengers from Wuhan district will only be accepted in our flights after clearance from Guangzhou airport health authorities,” reads a statement from the airline dated January 29th, 2020.

At the beginning of this week, Kenya Airways reported how it had lost $ 8 million in cargo and passenger revenue after suspending flights on the Nairobi-Guangzhou route due to the corona virus outbreak since last month.

Mr Kilavuka told the media that this is because China is a point of origin of cargo from Kenya Airways, as well as a main feeder to the regional freighters.

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Kenya Airways suspended an employee, Mr Gire Ali, who had recorded 239 passengers leaving a China Southern Airlines CZ 6043 while at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) two days ago.

The High Court of Kenya has, starting today, began a 10-day flight suspension ban by the High Court in Kenya.

The reason is so that the government can be able to craft a plan to avert spread of the virus.

While the Wuhan coronavirus has led to the deaths of 2,800 people in the world, has taken its toll in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the United States of America, it has had a negative on the aviation, hospitality and shipping industries in the world, states Al Jazeera.

Not only are people being advised against travelling for of being affected by the spread of the virus, but also that supply chains in the country’s industries such as motor vehicles where the virus has emanated from, China, because their factories are closed.

But, that is not all that has impacted Kenya Airways since Mr Kilavuka became its acting CEO in January 2020.

According to the media, Mr Kilavuka published a memorandum that stated that the national carrier would retrench some of its workers in a bid to cut back on its costs, in what is known as “Operation Pride”, though the move was met with opposition from the Kenya Aviation Workers Union (KAWU).

For its December 2019 half year warning, Kenya Airways, the national carrier in which the government has a 48.9 percent ownership,  reported a loss of Kshs 8. 56 billion, with the main reason being cited as the expansion of new routes, such as New York from the United States of America and Mogadishu, in Somalia, the latter in December 2018.

Dutch carrier, KLM, also holds a 7.8 percent shareholding in Kenya Airways, whose market share price at the NSE at the time of writing is Kshs 2.16.

“ The Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) is also planning to delist Kenya Airways after parliament’s approved the government’s intention to own it and because it has been reporting losses, where for the year ended 2017, it reported losses worth $ 7.5 billion,” media reports state.

In April 2019, the National Treasury announced that both the Kenyan government (Kshs 4 billion) and African Export-Import Bank ( $ 200 million), had given Kenya Airways loans to off-set its debts that at the time had been worth Kshs 25.74 billion.

Jambojet, the budget airline for which Mr Kilavuka was the former CEO and a Kenya Airways subsidiary, hit a snag last week after the authorities from Somalia failed to grant it a morning flying slot.

Furthermore, according to the On-Time Performance Review by Cirium, Kenya Airways was ranked last among the last 10 carriers in the continent and in the Middle East, for having a 47-minute delay for 54, 061 of the flights that it had been operating since last year.



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