BY OLIVIA MUNGWANA
By the end of the year, Kenya Airways says it will know whether the New York route is commercially viable after they resumed flights that had been stopped due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
KQ told the Kenyan Parliament that it is currently flying to the US city twice a week compared to seven days in the year to March 2020.
“We are currently doing a cabin factor of 55 percent of our flights capacity and flying twice a week as opposed to seven days,” Alan Kilavuka, KQ’s chief executive told MPs.
According to Mr .Kilavuka, KQ is currently doing 60 per cent load factor (belly cargo) compared to 100 per cent before the pandemic-induced headwinds halted flights.
“We don’t think the route will be profitable in 2021. Flights have not resumed fully because we are doing 55 percent cabin factor and 60 percent load factor,” Mr Kilavuka said.
He said the earliest KQ can determine whether the route is profitable or not is either late this year or next year.
“We started flights to New York late 2018 and we flew in 2019 but the same was cut short by Covid-19 where we did not fly most of 2020,” he told the Public Accounts Committee.