KENYA AIRWAYS APPREHENSIVE OVER AFRICAN OPEN SKIES

NAIROBI — National flag carrier Kenya Airways (KQ) has raised concerns over moves by African governments to liberalize the African aviation sector as it fears that this will cripple its growth and hamper its recovery.

On Jan 28, heads of State and government from 23 African countries signed an agreement to create the single African air transport market with the creation of an open air policy for the African airspace.

KQ Managing Director Sebastian Mikosz said Thursday that the airline had reduced its after-tax losses from 10 billion shillings (about 99.2 million US dollars) in 2016 to 6.1 billion shillings in 2017 but the signing of the agreement is likely to complicate its revival strategy.

By signing the charter, signatory countries are expected to give their peers unfettered access to their airspace without strict conditions. Mikosz says the airline is studying the impact of the agreement which commits African countries to phase out their protectionist policies.

He said: The airline, which is 49 per cent owned by the Kenyan government, plans to buy more aircraft to serve its widening route network with plans to introduce direct flights to Cape Town and Mauritius.”

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK