Kenya Airways quietly extends CEO Allan Kilavuka’s contract

Allan Kilavuka, KQ CEO.

Kenya Airways chief executive officer Allan Kilavuka.  

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Kenya Airways quietly extended the term of the chief executive officer Allan Kilavuka for three years to April 2026, the national carrier’s chairman Michael Joseph confirmed Friday.

Mr Kilavuka was first appointed KQ Group CEO in April 2020. He had held the position in an acting capacity between January and March 2020 following the exit of his predecessor, Polish national, Sebastian Mikosz.

“The Board of Kenya Airways extended Allan’s tenure by three more years towards the end of last year,” Mr Joseph said.

Mr Kilavuka joined KQ from the airline’s low-cost subsidiary Jambojet where he had served as the CEO since January 2019.

Before that, he was General Electric’s global operations leader for Sub-Saharan Africa.

He has been instrumental in attempts to turn around the fortunes of the loss-making airline since he took over at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic when flights were grounded globally.

Despite a tough operating environment, KQ reduced its net loss for the financial year ended December 31, 2021, to Sh15.87 billion, a 56 percent decrease from 2020’s Sh36.21 billion loss.

The national carrier made the worst-ever net loss of Sh38.26 billion 2022 due to a rise in financing costs. The board was, however, optimistic saying the airline was on course to hit break-even point and profitability by 2024 —something it has not done since 2012 when it closed with net earnings at Sh1.66 billion.

Last year, the airline narrowed the net loss by 40.7 percent to Sh22.69 billion, helped by a surge in revenues.

KQ’s sales grew 52.8 percent to hit Sh178.4 billion as it rebuilt its route network and capacity from the depths of the Covid-19 pandemic that hit the global aviation sector.

The airline posted an operating profit of Sh10.5 billion reversing an operating loss of Sh5.6 billion a year earlier.

This reflected a fast growth in revenue compared to operating costs which increased 38 percent to Sh168 billion.

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