West Africa flight ban leaves Kenya Airways in a fix

Kenya Airways managing director Titus Naikuni (left) and Chief Operating Officer Mbuvi Ngunze during the release of the airline's full-year financial results at a Nairobi hotel on June 25, 2014. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • Kenya Airways faces ticket refund nightmare after cancellations due to Ebola.
  • KQ aircraft fly 44 times a week to 10 West African cities, comprising nearly a third of the airline’s 36 destinations on the continent.
  • The airline could be booking annual revenue of Sh2.4 billion from the two suspended destinations on an annualised basis.

Kenya Airways is staring at a ticket-refund nightmare following flight cancellations to two key West African routes due to the Ebola outbreak and likely loss of revenue if the suspension of flights is not lifted soon.

KQ aircraft fly 44 times a week to 10 West African cities, comprising nearly a third of the airline’s 36 destinations on the continent.

The airline has at least seven flights to Liberia and Sierra Leone per week, comprising at least 16 per cent of its West African flights.

Having resisted cancelling flights even after the exit of other major airlines, including British Airways and Lufthansa, KQ may have been looking at increased bookings as travellers going in and out of the Ebola-struck region saw their options of air travel become limited.

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