Kenya Airways seeks new chief executive as profits take a knock

KENYA – Kenya Airways has kickstarted the process of replacing its current CEO Sebastian Mikosz. This comes after Mikosz announced his resignation in May this year.

“We are in the process of interviewing prospective successors,” said Michael Joseph, the airline’s board chairman.

The airline is currently in a race against time to find a suitable candidate for the position before Mikosz’s term expires in October this year.

According to Joseph, the airline understands the precarious situation that it is in at the moment and its “working towards making an announcement once the board comes up with a decision”.

Mikosz who has been at helm of the company’s operation since 2017 announced his resignation in May: five months ahead of the expiry of his three-year contract.

During his tenure at KQ, the airline was able to invest and introduce new routes such as New York, Mauritius, Libreville, and Mogadishu.

The airline was also able to fly a record 2.4 million passengers in the first 6 months of 2019, a 6.6 percent increase when compared to the same period in the pervious year.

The airlines passenger revenues also increased to US$405.52 million, a five percent increase from the same time last year.

Mikosz’s is also leaving at a time when the airline is still recording losses. In the just released half-year results, the company recorded a massive before tax loss of US$82.65 million, a 120.5 percent increase compared to the same period last year.

The massive losses have been associated with maintenance of the new routes and the recalling of two Boeing 787 aircrafts which had been subleased to Oman Air.

The airline also attributed the loss to high fuel prices, which saw its costs rise by 73.6 per cent from Sh19 billion incurred in the 9-month period in 2017 to Sh33 billion in the full year ended in December 2018.

However, Mikosz observed that, “after two years at the helm, we have progressively improved our financial position. We have seen significant year-on-year revenue growth both in passenger and cargo business.”

“We also continue to pay attention to costs. Management is committed to grow revenues and to address cost challenges. This will be a long and challenging process, but we are optimistic that we are on the right track”, He added.

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