Kenya Airways – The Pride of Africa


Kenya Airways is Kenya’s flag carrier and largest airline established in 1977. The airline is headquartered at Embakasi, Nairobi, Kenya. The airline has its main hub at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and operates 46 scheduled services throughout Africa, Europe and Asia with 30 aircrafts.

Kenya Airways was formed after the break-up of the East African Community and the failure of East African Airways. The Government of Kenya owned the airways until April 1996.

The Sessional Paper Number 1 published by the Kenyan Government insisted the need for privatization due to economic crisis. In 1991, a Board was formed with Philip Ndegwa as Chairman. The Public Enterprise Reform paper published in 1992 prioritized the privatization of the Airways.

Kenya Airways produced profits when it started commercialization in 1993. The International Finance Corporation was appointed in 1994 to assist the privatization process. In 1995, Kenya Airways made a corporation agreement with KLM. The airline became the largest single shareholder with 26% shares of Kenya Airways. In 1996, shares were open on the Nairobi Stock Exchange. Kenya Airways Cargo was re-introduced in April 2004 and in the same year in July, Flamingo Airlines, a domestic subsidiary of Kenya Airways was re-absorbed.

From 2003, the profits after tax doubled and tripled year after year. The Airways announced profit growth for 2005-2006 as the profit increased from 3.88 billion Kenya shillings to 4.83 billion shillings. Also, passenger count was 2.6 million.

SkyTeam welcomed Kenya Airways to its alliance on September 4, 2007. Currently, the airline share is under the ownership of individual Kenyan shareholders (30.94%), KLM (26%), the Kenyan government (23%), Kenyan institutional investors (14.2%), foreign institutional investors (4.47%) and individual foreign investors (1.39%). The airline employs 2,408 people and also owns 49% of Tanzania’s Precision Air.

Kenya Airways offers Economy and Premier World/Business Class services to passengers. Premier World passengers enjoy a flat-bed luxury with Kenyan hospitality. Only on Boeing 767-300 ER and Boeing 777-200 ER, flat-bed luxury is offered. An array of wines and world class cuisine reflect the perfect setting of dining in luxury in a top-notch restaurant. The Premier World passengers have access to the Simba Lounge.

On Boeing 777-200ER, Premier World passengers get an AVOD entertainment with 10 to 15 movies and T.V Shows. Economic class passengers have NVOD entertainment. Movie priority is given to the business class passengers. On Boeing 767-300ER, personal televisions are available and 11 TV channels in French and English are available with stereo sound. Boeing 737-800 and Boeing 737-700 passengers have overhead screens with 8 audio channels. On Boeing 737-300, background music is played throughout the flight.

Flying Blue is the frequent flyer program of Kenya Airways. The membership starts with Ivory and extends up to three elite levels: Silver, Gold and Platinum. Passengers flying with Air France, KLM, SkyTeam Partners and other partner airlines can earn Award Miles. Level Miles are counted for upgrading membership levels and the miles are made nil at the end of every year.

Kenya Airways backed the ‘African Airline of the Year ‘award for 2005 which was its fifth award in seven years.

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