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Kenya Airways posts 92.1 mln USD loss over security fears


18:27, June 14, 2013

NAIROBI, June 14 (Xinhua) -- Kenya Airways posted a 92.1 million U.S. dollars loss for the 2012/2013 financial year ended March 31, down from 19.4 million dollars in the previous year.

Kenya Airways Managing Director Titus Naikuni told journalists in Nairobi on Friday that the decline was largely attributed to the tough geopolitical conditions in key markets.

"Kenya Airways' loss of 92.1 million dollars was partly caused by constrained passenger traffic brought about by travel advisories issued by key markets sources in the west," he told an investor briefing in Nairobi.

Naikuni said that the airline turnover reduced from of 1.26 billion dollars in 2011/2012 to 1.15 billion dollars in 2012/2013. He added that fears of retaliatory attacks by the Al-Shabaab militant group of Somalia affected the airlines profitability.

He noted that in 2012 at least five African countries held elections which reduced passenger numbers due to political uncertainty.

"Egypt, Republic of Congo, Angola, Sierra Leone and Ghana were all gripped by general anxiety which reduced passenger traffic. Unfortunately, elections in Africa are characterized by economic slowdowns," Naikuni told journalists.

The airline CEO noted that political uncertainty in Kenya's general elections early this year further worsened the situation. He added that the global commercial aviation industry was also negatively impacted by the sustained underperformance of the European economy.

The same year also experienced post Arab spring tensions in North Africa. In addition, 2012 also saw civil strife in Mali and Central African Republic which are destinations of Kenya Airways.

According to the airline, passenger traffic grew in Africa in the Middle East and Asia as a result of increased capacity made possible by greater frequency of flights.

"However, flight capacity offered into Europe was reduced by 22 percent compared to the previous year due to low seat occupancy levels," he said.

"We will therefore continue to concentrate on Sub Saharan as the Gross domestic Product continues to outpace the rest of the world," Naikuni said.

He noted that passengers transported within Kenya remained flat despite lower inbound traffic from international destinations. Kenya Airways Finance Director Alex Mbugua said that most of his firm's revenues are U.S. dollar denominated and so the airline prefers a weaker shilling. "In fact in the period under review, we lost 46 million dollars in turnover due to a stronger shilling," he said.

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