What seemed like a rough year for Kenya Airways year ended last week (March 31). Half year, pre tax profits were 2.8 billion shillings ($43 million) (down from 3.4 billion) the year before. They had lost a new 737-8 aircraft in a crash, had seen fuel reach record highs ($85 a barrel in September) and were being hammered by the strong shilling. Since then we had the dispted election and resultant violence, reduced traffic to Kenya, canceled tourist bookings & flights, while fuel continued to climb ($111) a barrel yesterday.
The start of the new year also off to an unfortunate start with a further delay in Boeing 787 dreamliner program which was the center of the future fleet of KQ – they had ordered nine of the new jets, with the first schedule to arrive in 2010. The 787 was supposed to be delivered to customers last year but is yet to fly and is not expected to be delivered to customers till late next year, meaning KQ as customer No. 28 will probably not get the planes that are critical to their long-term plans until around 2012.
No calls please: Zain (Celtel parent) has successfully tested mobile roaming service on aircraft and says it will soon be available in Nigeria and 10 other countries including Kenya. I hope not, flying should remain mobile free – maybe for text, data only.