• Global airlines have collectively lost $45 billion in 2020
• A regional business centre like Nairobi needs a hub airport providing multiple connections across the globe
In today's Big Read, the Kenya Airways chairman Michael Joseph presents a cogent argument for nationalisation of the airline (see P12/13).
Airlines around the world are in serious financial trouble due to the Covid lockdown and are estimated to have lost $45 billion (Sh45 trillion) collectively in 2020.
KQ was losing money before Covid but now it has plunged close to bankruptcy. It is beyond the capacity of the private sector to save it. The only option is nationalisation.
The proposed Aviation Investment Corporation will not only own KQ but will also own the Kenya Airports Authority and its duty-free operations. The profits from KAA will keep KQ flying by making its fares competitive. This is the model employed by Emirates, Turkish Airlines and the Middle Eastern airlines.
The true value of JKIA and KQ is that they ensure that Nairobi remains the business hub for eastern Africa, something of great value to the economy. If KQ collapsed, it would seriously undermine Nairobi's position as a centre for the United Nations and the preferred regional headquarters for many international corporations. However costly it is, we have to save KQ.
Quote of the day: "The earth belongs to the living, not to the dead."
The third American President died on July 4, 1826