Kenya Airways has stopped flying to these two West African countries due to what it termed as non-profitability that has led to huge losses at the firm.
The National carrier said that travelers to Gabon and Benin’s cities of Libreville and Cotonou will have to be re-routed or re-booked through KQ’s partner airlines effective October 14th.
Kenya Airways Chief Commercial Officer, Ursula Silling said that the pullout is part of the firm’s strategy to align and optimize its global network in order to meet customer needs and also adapt to the dynamic market demand.
“We have made the necessary arrangements to continue serving our customers who had made forward bookings through our existing cooperation with partner airlines to ensure no disruption to their travel,” Kenya Airways Chief Commercial Officer, Ursula Silling said.
The national airline continues to sink in losses year on year despite its tremendous efforts to revive profitability.
In the recent announcement of the half-year results, the airline’s loss before tax sunk deeper as it more than doubled to reach Sh85.6 million. In July, Parliament voted to renationalize the carrier in order to save it from the piling debts.
The airline is also struggling with shortage of pilots which has forced the carrier to cancel dozens of flights.
In the first weeks of August, the airline experienced 91 flight cancellations with more than 70 flights being due to pilot shortages and crew disruptions.
The current number of pilots based on the fleets is 435 against a requirement of 497 pilots , this giving a deficit of 62 pilots.
“This system is ineffective and archaic, and it does contribute to the current shortages as on average nearly 10 percent of pilots are always on training thus making the total current shortage to be 106 pilots.
“This situation has resulted in the airline losing colossal amounts of money not to mention customer’s goodwill. KQ management does not understand why good faith has been taken for granted and abuse,” the carrier’s head of operations, Patrick Njoroge said.
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