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KAA opens talks on Kenya Airways takeover of JKIA




KAA opens talks on Kenya Airways takeover of JKIA

KAA managing director Jonny Andersen. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) is set to kick off talks on Kenya Airways’ #ticker:KQ plan to manage operations at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) as part of a restructuring aimed at aiding the airline’s recovery and boosting its dwindling revenues.

KAA managing director Jonny Andersen said in a statement Tuesday that the authority will provide a blueprint based on the carrier’s proposal to manage the country’s main airport.

There will be a press briefing today at JKIA to provide a road map of stakeholder and public participation regarding the Privately Initiated Investment Proposal (PIIP) by Kenya Airways to operate, maintain and develop JKIA, said the KAA boss.

Kenya Airways, popularly knows as KQ, if granted permission, is set to merge with the State-owmed authority as part of a grand plan to turn around its business and cement Nairobi’s status as a regional transport hub. The move will also expand the range of the airline’s offerings to ground handling, warehousing, maintenance, catering and cargo services.

According to a policy paper seen by the Business Daily which the Cabinet approved in June, the aim is to reposition KQ in a similar fashion as its main rivals, including Ethiopian Airlines, which have relied on government backing to expand reach.

The move, dubbed ‘Project Simba’, also appears to be a reaction to the financial difficulties the carrier has continued to experience even after last year’s completion of a major reengineering drive, causing concern that it may not be able to withstand competition in the near future.

Through a public-private partnership which is yet to be signed, Kenya Airways will take over the staff and operations of the KAA.

The authority had appointed an adviser to guide a comprehensive due diligence as well as assess the viability of the project.