Kenya Airways offers free one-way tickets to Kenyans stuck in US


A Kenya Airways plane at JKIA. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Kenya Airways #ticker:KQ (KQ) is offering free one-way tickets to Kenyans stuck in the US in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic that has grounded airlines across the globe.

The airline in a statement Wednesday said Kenyans in dire need of the ticket which ordinarily goes for around Sh98, 000 should get in touch with them for further advice.

The announcement comes barely a few days after the airline grounded its international passenger travel following the state order banning international flights to curb the coronavirus outbreak.

“As our last flight departs JFK today, we are offering one-way complimentary tickets to Nairobi," said the airline in statement Wednesday.

Adding that “all passengers will be subjected to entry/screening procedures instituted by the Ministry of Health.”

Kenya on March 13 confirmed its first case of the coronavirus. The cases have since jumped to 16 while racing to contact 363 individuals who came into contact with those who have tested positive.

The travel restriction is set to worsen KQ’s already precarious financial position.

The National Securities Exchange-listed firm made a net loss of Sh8.5 billion in the half year ended June, more than doubling the net loss of Sh4 billion the year before as costs rose faster than revenue.

The loss saw the company’s negative equity widen to Sh16.1 billion from Sh2.4 billion, underlining its capital crisis.

Turnover in the review period rose to Sh58.5 billion from Sh52.1 billion, representing a 12.2 percent increase.

Early this week, its top managers took a pay cut of up to 80 percent to preserve cash and cut costs amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Mr Allan Kilavuka, the firm’s chief executive said the move is aimed at keeping the company afloat during this difficult time.

The directive will also see senior managers at the national carrier take a 75 per cent pay cut while workers at the airline have been subjected to a pay cut of between 25 to 50 percent.