Kenya Airways’ said its pretax loss narrowed sharply in the six months through September as it made an operating profit, raising hopes that the struggling carrier may be beginning to turn a corner.
The airline, 27 percent-owned by Air France KLM, has been reducing the size of its fleet, selling non-core assets like land and cutting jobs to try and turn itself around after years of losses, due in part to a slump in tourism to Kenya following attacks by Somali Islamist militants.
Chief Executive Officer Mbuvi Ngunze said on Thursday that the carrier, which is also partly state owned, made an operating profit of 0.9 billion shillings ($8.9 million) for the six months ended in September, compared with a loss of 2.2 billion shillings in the same period in 2015.
Finance Director Dick Murianki told an investor briefing that total revenue fell to 54.748 billion shillings in April-September, from 56.72 billion shillings a year ago, but the pre-tax loss narrowed to 4.73 billion shillings from 11.86 billion shillings.
The appointment of veteran telecoms executive Michael Joseph as chairman last week has helped lift sentiment at the airline. Pilots had threatened to strike to demand management changes, but called off the action when Joseph’s appointment was announced.
Kenya Airways had released part of its earnings results two weeks ago.
($1 = 101.3000 Kenyan shillings)