The government has advanced a soft loan of Kshs.4.5 billion to save the cash strapped Kenya Airways (KQ) from collapsing. The government has 29.8 per cent shareholding in the airline which made a net loss of Ksh10.5 billion in the half-year ended September , reversing a net profit of Ksh384 million reported a year earlier.
The Senate is expected to conduct investigations into the challenges facing KQ within three months and make recommendations to salvage the airline. Members of the Senate select committee that will investigate KQ are Prof Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o (Kisumu), Mutahi Kagwe (Nyeri), Peter Mositet (Kajiado), Prof Wilfred Lesan (Bomet), Billo Kerrow (Mandera), Daniel Karaba (Kirinyaga), Dr. Boni Khalwale (Kakamega), Hassan Omar (Mombasa), Dr.Agnes Zani (nominated), James Orengo (Siaya) and Naisula Liesuuda (nominated).
The committee will among other things investigate the leasing and buying of aircraft since 1996 and the role of the alleged off-shore companies in the investment affairs of KQ, unmask individuals behind the alleged off-shore companies and their relationship within the management of Kenya Airways.
The team will look at the employment policies and practices of personnel including engineers, pilots, cabin crew and ground personnel of “the Pride of Africa.”
Further, the Committee that will be chaired by Prof. Nyong’o will establish reasons for delays and cancellation of flights, their frequencies and magnitude of losses.
The national carriers earnings were affected by slow growth in passenger numbers in the wake of heavy investment in new aircraft. Last year, the airline hired a financial adviser to help restructure its debt with the specific brief to renegotiate maturity periods of loans to cut the short-term obligation strain on cash flows.