Five international airlines have expressed their interest in acquiring struggling Kenya Airways buying a majority stake in the cash strapped African carrier, Kenya’s transport minister revealed.
Qatar Airwys, Etihad Airlines, Oman Air and US-based Omni Air are among the airlines that have shown interest in acquiring or buying a significant stake in Kenya airways, Daily Nation reported.
“It is true there are firms from the Middle East and America that have expressed interest in Kenya Airways. None of these has firmed up interest so I cannot give you details,” Transport and Infrastructure Cabinet Secretary James Macharia told Daily Nation in Brussels.
Kenya Airways, who’s largest shareholders include the Kenyan government and France-based KLM, has been sinking deeper into losses for the last three years.
The third largest airline in Sub-Saharan Africa, After Ethiopian Airlines and South African Airways,posted the biggest ever loss in Kenya’s corporate history last year and is in the middle of finding ways to turnaround its fortunes including selling its fleets, laying of employees and fund raising.
Earlier this year, the airline sold its early morning landing spot at London’s Heathrow Airport to Oman Air. It has also been leasing its fleet to other airlines.
Macharia said proposals from the five investors would be studied, but in the meantime the government would restructure the airline to turn around its fortunes before bids to buy it could be considered.
The transport minister told a press briefing in Brussels that the airlines was planning to shake up its senior management and would ask some of its top officials to leave the airline, Citizen Digital reported.
“You’ve seen us asking people at senior levels to leave and so we shall be restoring capacity in terms of management of that very critical company to our country,” said Macharia
Among those who have left Kenya airways management ranks include Finance Director Alex Mbugua, Human Resource Director Alban Mwendwa and Director of Flight Operations Paul Mwangi.
There have been call by the carrier’s pilots for Chief Exceutive Officer Mbuvi Ngunze to resign, Bloomberg reported in April.
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