We have to look at the bright side of this crisis and the opportunities it presents
Kenya Airways (KQ) has held its 44th Annual General Meeting (AGM) allowing shareholders to follow the proceedings online for the first-time. The meeting was held virtually in light of the ongoing public-health crisis as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The shareholders welcomed the substantive group managing director and CEO, Allan Kilavuka, following his appointment on April 1, 2020. While introducing the new CEO to the shareholders, Michael Joseph, the chairman of the Board, assured the shareholders that the appointment and transition of Mr Allan Kilavuka into the organisation has been seamless.
“Allan has an outstanding record and brings to Kenya Airways over 23 years’ experience in leadership and management and extensive knowledge of the African business environment. He has proven success in new organisation setups, change management, financial planning, integrations, process improvement, company compliance and responsible strategic leadership,” said Mr Joseph.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy, and its effect on the aviation industry is unprecedented with this being the most challenging year yet for the industry. Going forward, the airline will focus on recalibrating the organisation to create a model that is agile, responsive, and relevant to the needs of the changing market and the diverse customers.
Kenya Airways is committed to running a sustainable business, with continued focus on improving our customer’s experience, reducing costs and curbing wastage, strengthening operational efficiency, stabilising the organisation, profitable growth, and engagement with all stakeholders.
Mr Kilavuka conveyed optimism that the strategic investment initiatives the airline has been implementing are progressively paying off. The result has been the positive performance for the year ended December 31, 2019, that saw a 12.4% increase in revenue from Sh114, 185m in 2018 to Sh128, 317m, the airline’s best performance yet. The passenger numbers also grew to a record 5.1 million in the same period, attributed to network expansion gains.
“2019 was a commendable year for Kenya Airways, a year where the airline experienced growth in both passenger numbers and revenues. As part of our growth strategy, we continued our network expansion by launching three new routes and increasing frequencies to different markets in Africa. This year has, however, been challenging as a result of the disruption from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are therefore undertaking a rationalisation of our network to respond to the suppressed demand and strengthening of our cargo and maintenance repair and overhaul (MRO) business lines. We have to look at the bright side of this crisis and the opportunities it presents. We are therefore rethinking how this critical and strategic national asset can re-emerge from the crisis and play its rightful role in reigniting our economy and the economies of the countries where we operate in,” said Mr Kilavuka.