Close

BIG BRANDS

Loss-making KQ beats Ethiopian Airlines in African ranking

In the list of top African brands KQ was ranked position 14 while Ethiopian Airlines took position 21.

In Summary

•KQ was ranked position 14 while Ethiopian Airlines took position 21

•The firm’s net loss deepened to Sh7.55 billion compared to Sh6.4 billion the previous year

KQ flight at Moi Airport Mombasa
KQ flight at Moi Airport Mombasa
Image: FILE

Kenya’s national carrier (KQ) has outranked Ethiopian Airlines in the list of 25 most admired African Brands by African Business, a pan-African magazine.

This is despite ongoing troubles at Kenya Airways, the most recent being resignation of the Polish expat, Sebastian Mikosz, headhunted to turnaround the airline’s fortune.

In the list of top African brands KQ was ranked position 14 while Ethiopian Airlines took position 21.

Mikosz was appointed in 2017 in hopes that he would reverse the national career’s loss-making streak largely due to his success from turning around LOT Polish Airlines.

For the year ending December 2018, the firm’s net loss deepened to Sh7.55 billion compared to Sh6.4 billion the previous year, the sixth year in a row the airline has been operating on losses.

Although KQ received waivers from international lenders allowing the firm to breach liquidity ratios without incurring the penalty of repaying debt worth Sh77 billion within one year, it is a far cry from the performance at Ethiopian Airlines.

Ethiopian Airlines reported profits to $254 million (Sh25.73 billion) last year and was voted the best airline in Africa last year by Skytrax.

The airline currently operates more than 100 aircraft, more than any other African airline and transprted more than 10 million passengers last year alone.

KQ owes sh60.3 billion to Citi and JPMorgan, a facility meant to mature in 2026. It’s debt to Afreximbank stands at sh17.45 billion to mature in 2025 while owing another Sh4.3 billion to a consortium of local banks.

In the list of 25 most admired African brands, Kenya managed to secure four positions with the top most being giant telco Safaricom at position six.

Others were Tusker ranked position nine while Bidco came in position 22. The most lauded African brand was cement-maker Dangote from Nigeria followed by South African telco firm MTN.

Ethiopia’s Anbessa Shoes, South African DStv and Zimbabwe-based Econet came in third, fourth and fifth place respectively.