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China flights: Kenya Airways could lose Sh45m weekly in ticket sales

The national carrier flies to Guangzhou, China three times a week.

In Summary

• Kenya Airways has dedicated the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner with a capacity of 234 passengers for the Guangzhou.

• A return ticket on Kenya Airways to Guangzhou is approximately Sh63,845.

Kenya Airways planes at JKIA
Kenya Airways planes at JKIA
Image: FILE

Kenya Airways could lose up to Sh200 million in a month on ticket sales with the suspension of flights to China.

The airline suspended all its flights to Guangzhou, China after coronavirus claimed 170 and infected thousands.

"Further to our prior communication regarding the current coronavirus outbreak, we have temporarily suspended all flights starting January 31, 2020, until further notice," KQ said.

Kenya Airways has dedicated the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner with a capacity of 234 passengers for the Guangzhou.

On a normal flight day, the national carrier collects Sh14.9 million for a round trip with a full plane, in which it goes to Guangzhou and comes back three times a week.

This means that in a month, the airline makes approximately 13 flights to Guangzhou and back.

A return ticket on Kenya Airways to Guangzhou is approximately Sh63,845.

If the suspension takes a whole month up to February 30,202, the airline will lose a whooping Sh193.7 million. It, therefore, could lose Sh44.7 million per week.

Last year, Jomo Kenyatta International Airport received 84,208 visitors from Guangzhou.

Kenya AIrways and Guangzhou
Kenya AIrways and Guangzhou

It takes 13 hrs 36 mins to fly from Nairobi to Guangzhou, which is 968KM from Wuhan, which is believed to be the origin of the deadly coronavirus.

Last year, KQ, as it is known internationally, reported a net loss of Sh5.9 billion, up from Sh5.1 billion in 2017.

The airline which last reported a profit of Sh4.1 billion in the year ended March 2011 has been issuing warnings since 2012, despite receiving a shot in the arm from the government. 

The airline continues to sink deeper in losses despite conducting Sh200 billion restructuring that saw it convert most of its debt into equity and a government-guaranteed loan of $750 million (Sh75 billion) from Export-Import Bank of United States (US-EXIM Bank) for the fleet of wide-bodied aircraft.

Medical staff carry a box as they walk at the Jinyintan hospital, where the patients with pneumonia caused by the new strain of coronavirus are being treated, in Wuhan, Hubei province, China
Medical staff carry a box as they walk at the Jinyintan hospital, where the patients with pneumonia caused by the new strain of coronavirus are being treated, in Wuhan, Hubei province, China
Image: REUTERS