Kenya Airways eyes growth with JKIA management bid

Kenya Airways eyes growth with JKIA management bid

National carrier Kenya Airways is stepping up its turnaround from the financial turmoil by following up its operational restructuring with the pursuit of a public-private partnership with Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) on the joint operation of the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).

The airliner is seeking out the merger deal to level the playing field in the battle against its global competitors which receive a full government support.

Speaking during the annual general meeting on Friday, Kenya Airways chairman Michael Joseph said the carrier is looking to accrue the same benefits as those enjoyed by other operators by collaborating with KAA on the project.

“For us to compete against them to offer the same benefits as they offer we will need to almost copy them. We have proposed a share of the benefits represented by the joint operation of JKIA. There are significant synergies both on the revenue and cost side. When you put these two together, you could see a much more solid Kenya Airways,” Mr Joseph said.

On a global scale, gulf carriers are heavily backed by their home governments, a fact which has ensured the profitability of the operators in the long-term.

Kenya Airways has however maintained that the cooperation is not a representation of the privatization of JKIA, with chief executive officer Sebastian Mikosz stating that there exist benefits for the government as well.

“The PPP is not a privatization as we will not at any moment own JKIA. We have put together both public and private efforts to create more added value and more synergy. That is the concept,” Mr Mikosz said.

The deal is now pegged on the completion of negotiations with the Kenya Airports Authority following the cabinet approval last month.

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