Kenya – TRAVEL – Air – Kenya Airways

Kenya AirwaysKenya Airways is the national airline of the Kenya in East Africa. It operates scheduled services throughout Africa, to Europe and Asia. Its hub is Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO) in Nairobi. 


The airline was established in January 1977 after the demise of East African Airways (as a consequence of the breakup of the East African Community). It started operations on 4 February 1977. It was wholly owned by the Kenyan government until April 1996.In 1986, Sessional Paper Number 1 was published by Kenya’s government, outlining the country’s need for economic development and growth. The document stressed the government opinion that the airline would be better off if owned by private interests, thus resulting in the first attempt to privatize the airline. The government named Mr. Philip Ndegwa as Chairman of the Board in 1991, with specific orders to privatize the airline. He heads a renewed company cabinet. In 1992, the Public Enterprise Reform paper was published, giving Kenya Airways priority among national companies in Kenya to be privatized.In the fiscal year 1993 to 1994, the airline produced its first profit since the start of commercialization. Also in 1994, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), was appointed to provide assistance in the privatization process. In 1995, Kenya Airways went through some important financial processes, including the restructuring of its debts and a master corporation agreement with KLM. In 1996, shares were floated to the public, and the airline started trading on the Nairobi Stock Exchange.In April 2004 the company re-introduced Kenya Airways cargo as a brand and in July 2004, the company’s domestic subsidiary Flamingo Airlines was reabsorbed.The airline is owned by Individual Kenyan shareholders (32.5%), KLM (26%), Kenyan government (22%), Kenyan institutional investors (15.7%), foreign investors (3.8%).

Incidents and Accidents

On 31 January 2000 the airline suffered its first fatal accident when an Airbus A310 crashed after takeoff from Abidjian, Côte d’Ivoire, killing 169 of the 179 people aboard.

2005 News

Kenya Airways has received three Boeing 777-200ER aircraft, with the last delivery coming through in June 2005. This has cost Kenya Airways in the region of $500 million.In an image change, Kenya Airways has also changed its livery. The four defining stripes running the length of the fuselage have been replaced by a slogan “Pride of Africa”. The KA tail has also been replaced by a styled “K” encircled with a “Q” to evoke the “KQ” call letters for the airline.Full Year Ending Mar 31 2005. Profits after Tax almost tripled to KShs 3.882 Billion (US$50 Million). Carried over 2M passengers.Kenya Airways declared a six month (2004) profit after tax of almost $19.5 million, compared to $4.5 million for the same period the previous year. This has been attributed to KTAP (Kenya Airways TurnAround Project) overhauling the airline’s revenue management, cost structures and route and fleet planning (ref: Airliner World, March 2005).

In June 2005 it was announced to be among the four future associate member of Skyteam Alliance, due to join by 2006.


Kenya Airways serves the following destinations (at January 2005)

        Domestic scheduled destinations: Kisumu, Lamu, Malindi, Mombasa and Nairobi.         Africa scheduled destinations: Abidjan, Accra, Addis Ababa, Bamako, Bujumbura, Cairo, Cape Town, Dakar, Dar Es Salaam, Djibouti, Douala, Entebbe/Kampala, Harare,Johannesburg, Khartoum, Kigali, Kinshasa, Lagos, Lilongwe, Lubumbashi, Lusaka, Mahe,Yaounde and Zanzibar.         Asia (including Middle East)scheduled destinations: Bangkok,Dubai,Hong Kong, Mumbai, and Shanghai.         Europe scheduled destinations: Amsterdam, Istanbul, and London.         Future (Official, Unofficial & Rumoured) scheduled destinations: Guangzhou in Oct 2005, Miami or Atlanta in 2007, Tokyo in 2007, Delhi in 2007, and Paris in 2006. Worth to be noted that destinations Hong Kong and Bangkok KQ230/231, launched at September 2003, was the first new launched flight after Hong Kong being struck by SARS.


The Kenya Airways fleet consists of the following aircraft (at June 2005)

        3 Boeing 737-200         4 Boeing 737-300         4 Boeing 737-700         6 Boeing 767-300         3 Boeing 777-200         2 Saab 340B In 2004 Kenya Airways took delivery of three Boeing 767-300 Extended Range 221-seater aircraft and acquired two Boeing 737-700 jets with blended winglets. Another two B767-300 were leased in February and March from GECAS and the Airbus A310 fleet retired.

Kenya Airways has announced it’s phasing out the Boeing 737-200 fleet, and replacing them with Boeing 737-800.