Kenyan Airways Share Trading Suspended for Another Year
Airlines Business / Finance

Kenyan Airways Share Trading Suspended for Another Year

DALLAS — As Kenya Airways (KQ) battles back to profitability, local stock exchange authorities have said that they are suspending trading of the company’s shares for another year. Trading of KQ shares has been suspended since July 2020; that suspension now continues through January 2024.

The airline originally requested the suspension as it began restructuring amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The extension of suspension seeks to enable the company (to) complete its operational and corporate restructure process,” the Nairobi Securities Exchange said in a statement.

The Kenyan government owns a 48.9% stake in KQ. Air France-KLM owns 7.8%. Kenyan President William Ruto has said that the government is ready to sell its entire stake in the airline.

Kenya Airways photo: Alberto Cucini//Airways

Government Support

According to Bloomberg, the airline has not turned a profit since 2012, causing the government to pump in millions of dollars to keep the company solvent.

“I’m willing to sell the whole of Kenya Airways,” Ruto told Bloomberg News. “I’m not in the business of running an airline that just has a Kenyan flag, that’s not my business,” he said. Ruto was in the United States, his first visit to the country as president. During that visit, Ruto reportedly met executives from Delta Air Lines.

The airline has worked to restructure its business by reducing its network, cutting back on and renegotiating its deals with lessors, and looking for savings in its labor agreements.

Those labor negotiations were stymied last year by strike action by pilots, which ended only after intervention by a labor court. That strike caused the cancellation of hundreds of flights and stranded thousands of passengers.

In December, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) provided a US$447m loan to Kenya. The IMF noted that addressing “vulnerabilities” at the airline was “urgent.”

In August, KQ reported a six-month loss of US$81.5m, a marked improvement from the US$94.6m loss in the period prior year.

Featured image: Kenya Airways photo: Misael Ocasio//Airways

John Huston is a marketer, writer, and videographer who's always loved planes, clocked 10 whole hours in a Cessna and can spend hours wandering around ATL. Based in Atlanta, GA, United States.

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