Kenya airways will not help revive Kenyas tourism

Why KQ is not going to help revive tourism at the Kenya coast and even Nairobi.

Good people today let’s talk about numbers and open skies .

Our national carrier was already flying high when the likes of Emirates and Qatar did not even exist but today Kenya Airways identified as KQ is gasping for air.

15 years ago , Ethiopian was nowhere today they are the best in Africa despite all their challenges as a country. Please join me to applaud them.

Mombasa has been denied open skies ostensibly to support and protect our national carrier. I have taken the liberty to find out what are we protecting in the first place .

  1. From a high of 55 + aircrafts we now have less than 40 and even then some have been leased out to other countries like DRC. You ask yourself why have them in the first place if you cannot use those aircrafts. KQ is not in the business of leasing out planes.
  2. KQ is currently flying to 53 cities in 41 countries globally , guess what 46 of those cities are in Africa and only 7 cities outside Africa. I was shocked by this yet we are busy stopping others from connecting both Msa and Nbi to the outside world.
  3. Ethiopian on the other hand have 129 aircrafts, they fly to 75 countries and 129 cities and 64 cities in Africa . It means 65 cities outside Africa. Please tell me how on earth will KQ bring us the numbers if they don’t even show up in the field of play. They fly to less than 10 cities outside Africa.
  4. Qatar who have been denied to fly into Mombasa have 234 aircrafts. They fly to 90 countries and 120 cities. It means Mombasa is denied the chance to connect to all those countries.
  5. Emirates which was formed in 1985 have 254 aircrafts, they fly to 85 countries and 162 cities. They have been begging to get 2nd flight into Nbi to help us in conference business MICE but policy makers don’t simply get it. You now understand why KICC is left to host local gigs and CBD hotels iconic hotels closing down Hilton, Intercontinental, Laico et al .
  6. Turkish Airlines who have also been denied to come back to Mombasa have 386 aircrafts. They fly to 125 countries and 324 cities . They fly to no less than 15 cities across Germany alone.

Turning to our national carrier , they fly 9 flights a day Nbi Msa with embraers 96 pax with load factor of 75%. Half of those passengers are GOK and related including cash strapped parastatals. Next time you fly , look at who flies business it is not the businessmen and the people who drive the economy bit the political class. No serious country country would operate like that.

Between Turkish , Ethiopian, Qatar and KLM they can easily bring us on average 500 passengers daily and even if only 50% spent $1000 per week in Mombasa we will be talking of tidy amount into the economy of Kenya coast .

Good people expecting a shrinking airline to salvage and help grow our tourism industry is wishful thinking. They are lucky they get bailed out by the state year in year out we don’t have that luxury and we are not even asking for any bailout . We want space to be allowed to do genuine tourism international tourism.

When we decline to grant airlines the chance to fly into Mombasa and even Nairobi it means we are denying Kenya that much needed forex.

As new President is sworn in tommorow we urge him to give this top priority. How on earth will KQ help grow tourism when they don’t have enough aircrafts let alone connection to leading cities .

How will a shrinking airline salvage Kenyas tourism?

We must drop this scarcity mentality and embrace abundance mentality. No firm in the world has shrunk itself to greatness hence Kenyas tourism industry we now want our space. Investors in Kenya moreso hotels have invested billions and expect that enabling environment.

It’s now about time we lifted the veil and called a spade a spade and not a big spoon.

Mohammed Hersi

11 responses to “Kenya airways will not help revive Kenyas tourism”

  1. Now that the president has committed to take on the cartels and corruption in the government head on ,
    we should expect the skies to open


  2. Some valid points here. However you miss the larger point of having a national airline.
    Protectionism is inherent even in those developed airlines you speak of.
    – Ethiopian Airlines, the best airline in Africa, has a government that guards its national airline. No international airline can service any other destination in Ethiopia except ET. ET handles majority of the cargo into and out of Addis.
    – Open Skies are not always “open skies”. Most places implement a number of measures to limit the amount of traffic going into and out if their airports using slot times and rights agreements on plane sizes etc.
    – Tourism is a good foreign exchange earner for the country. But like you truthfully stated cannot support the entire economy. However, without KQ you would have less dollars in the country and airlines like your precious QR and EK would quickly pull out of Nairobi. Do a search on how this has happened recently in Lagos, Nigeria, and then think of the impending destruction it would bring to the larger economy if the Kenyan Government was not in control of its skies. I could be corrected here but, I believe KQ and Safcom bring in majority of the foreign exchange into the Kenyan Economy. The airlines you speak of mostly take them out of Kenya. But sure a financial mind can assist us here.
    – You are right that we need to open the skies. But we cannot do so without strategising how the Kenyan economy benefits best. Instead of simply allowing that second flight to Emirates, maybe offer an alternative that actually enables the National Airline to meet those objectives. Why even give away one Kenyan job when you can achieve both? If the President elect can ward off any ‘cartels’ then surely he can straighten up our airline and get it back to its rightful position continent-wide.
    – Airlines are strategic tools. Look around us: UG, TZ and Rwanda all have started airlines within the last decade and service them despite heavy losses. Ceding KQ’s market share for open skies is short term thinking. Long term thinking is a two pronged approach that utilises the foreign carriers you mentioned to grow the market in the medium term, but plugging some of that revenue into KQ to grow its capabilities to inherit these connections. That will benefit local Kenyans jobs and the larger economy.

    – Don’t fall for foreign rhetoric about allowing our airline to fall to competition. Ask Malawi (which after it’s airline collapsed, has planes leased from ET, akin the KQ and DRC lease you spoke of), or Zimbabwe how hard it is to restart an airline after you let it collapse. And how the economy takes a hit when growth is based off a foreign country to decide when and how many flights into your country they can manage.

    Let’s support our national carrier, it does a lot more than all the haysayers can understand. KQ takes losses but the economy grows and the govt. gets more strategic stops.

    Let’s buy Kenyan, let’s fly Kenyan brother.


  3. Kq was a big joke- How can you expect kenyans to be patriotic to KQ – while they prioritise west Africans over Kenyans-a ticket fro Nbo -Dxb is expensive thrice of Emirates Airline- when Ebola broke out tha was “Beggining of tha end of KQ -kenyas were too addicted with other airlines of pocket friendly prices-with superb services- thats why KQ couldint pick up again from its citizens neither- and that was tha End of it. Just open tha sky- embrace tha competition and challanges – if cant pull up – pull out! Let them share tha joy- and adjust tha pain of revolution.


  4. You need to look at the ticket prices between USA and Dubai. The American airlines also went to Trump because they could not compete with Emirates. And Emirates prices as this cheap BECAUSE they get heavy subsidies from the UAE government.
    Another thing. It is a free market. If KQ cannot give you the cheaper ticket comparative to EK, fly them. But don’t expect KQ prices to come down because we’re all here typing on the keyboard. KQ needs intervention and reworking. And if that means national support as we weed out the mismanagement, that should be your concern.
    But before I log off this stupid conversation, google the biggest biggest economies on the continent and compare that to how many have national airlines. Even those that are served by regional partners.
    Fungeni KQ bila a partner and eventually we’ll all warm our houses with the flames from our economy.


  5. Good points you raise until you call this conversations stupid. Please take a walk. You didn’t have to come here to comment getting emotions on serious matter. I am in tourism and hotel business. When we miss out on huge MICE business only then will you understand. You may leave now.


    1. I do apologise.
      I have little patience for those who argue with no facts. I understand for you it’s all good because of the popularity of your blog, but by stupid, I was referring solely to the fellow who commented above. Maybe I should have made thag clearer.

      Your argument obviously has reference to facts. But not the whole picture, I believe.


      1. Apology accepted. I hope and pray that we get a win win solution and way forward fair to all.


    2. Now as to MICE, I agree we should act ASAP. Open up, but strategically with KQ on the cards. They should go hand in hand. Same way CBK has checks and balances on our currencies, so should our CAA with our skies, and our govt with growing KQ. Why give a foreign country something that a local industry can do?
      It all goes back again to how we use the airline. Right now, we’re not even at 10% of KQ’s potential. I say, we get rid of the rot, and build back better long term. We don’t close govt. because of cartels…


  6. Giuseppe Zito avatar
    Giuseppe Zito

    I share every single word my dear friend. I have a restaurant in Malindi and we are almost to close because no tourism. There is an “international” airport in Malindi but it is only written on the wall of the airport. The only flight we have here are from and to Nairobi and Lamu!!! I am Italian but to come here I use all the companies Ethiopian, Air France, KLM, Qatar, Turkish, Lufthansa except KQ, they have the highest prices of everyone and they don’t have a direct flight to Italy. Only in Malindi there are not less than 2000 Italian citizen resident, a lot of resorts. Then there is Watamu with its wonderful sea and resorts… No one take care of the economy of this area. Thank you


    1. Thanks Giuseppe .

      Please don’t give up. Malindi has special challenges with the runway to enable bigger aircrafts to land . Once that happens then we should push but even now Ethiopian is willing to fly a smaller aircraft to Malindi and the community in Malindi can avoid Mombasa and the 3 hours drive .


      1. Giuseppe Zito avatar
        Giuseppe Zito

        I heard about this issue of Ethiopian more than 4 years ago when we were invitate to an auction for a bar restaurant inside the airport but until now remains only words. Neither the owner of Billionaire Briatore could do anything. They said there is no custom inslindi airport and for this reason everything still sleeping. Let’s hope the new president Mr. Ruto can do something. Have a nice evening sir.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: