Kenya Airways (KQ) is seeking Sh7 billion from the Treasury as an emergency bailout after the carrier experiences its worst due to the travel restrictions implemented by the government to curb the coronavirus.
According to the International Air Transport Association, the Aviation industry may take years to recover from the coronavirus pandemic fully. The association also believes African airlines are likely to lose an estimated Sh636 billion in passenger revenue in 2020 alone, heightening airlines woes.
“We are looking into KQ’s Sh7 billion request during this difficult time…the request will be reviewed against the background that the airline recently received Sh5 billion from the government,” said Ukur Yatani, Treasury secretary.
The government suspended all destinations outside Kenya on March 22. It also suspended movement into and out of Nairobi, Kilifi, Mombasa and Kwale, forcing KQ to ground the local flights as well.
The national carrier is now surviving to raise revenue through the cargo transportation, which the Chief Executive Officer Allan Kilavuka says is not adequate for the airline to meet its targets.
“We can survive if we got some revenue from cargo, but only just survive. For us to meet our full obligations, we need government support urgently…aircraft engines have to be maintained often, and it is important that we get funds for this.” Said Mr Kilavuka.