Allan Kilavuka is the current Chief Executive Officer of Kenya Airways. Born in Kenya, he graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Nairobi and a Certificate in Psychology from Liverpool University in the United Kingdom. He has also done courses related to Advanced Management, Executive Leadership and Financial Management at Crotonville Leadership Institute in Westchester county, New York.
Kilavuka has experience in business process outsourcing, financial leadership and strategy, general management, offshoring, controllers and compliance, financial planning and analysis and extensive knowledge of the Africa Business Environment.
On 1st April 2020, Allan was appointed the new CEO of Kenya Airways (KQ). At the time KQ had recorded a net loss of KES12.98 billion in the year ended 2019.
Things also seemed to be bleak with the world facing the coronavirus pandemic and travel restrictions placed all round the globe. On top of this, the last time the airline had made a profit was in 2012 when it closed with net earnings of KES1.66 billion. Kilavuka took over from Sebastian Mickosz who had resigned for personal reasons.
His major first initiative after the appointment was to order a 25% executive pay cut for all top managers at the airline beginning April. The board of directors were also to forego their board allowances during the same period. Unfortunately, the airline is still far from making any profit.
The loss for the financial year ended December, 2020 was 2.8 times more than that of 2019. They made a net loss of 36.2 billion, the worst loss ever to be recorded by the airline. KQ chairman said the Outlook still looks bleak for the airline.
“The Covid 19 global outbreak in 2020 was beyond anyone’s prediction and it’s impact on the industry on expected to continue affecting air travel demand for the next two to three years,” he said.
Before joining KQ as CEO, Allan Kilavuka had also worked in a number of top positions.
In 1998, he joined Deloitte & Touche and qualified as a Certified Public Accountant. He became an audit manager and in 2005 joined GE as the Global Business Services Leader for Africa.
In 2007, he took up dual roles with GE Energy Management as the Middle East and Africa Controller and the Head of Finance for the South African plant.
In 2009, he relocated to South Africa to take up a role with GE power generation Services as the Africa Finance Manager.
In 2013, he became the Africa commercial finance manager and relocated back to Kenya in 2014.
In 2015, he became the Global operations leader for Sub Saharan Africa.
In 2019, he became the CEO of Jambojet, taking over from Mr. Willem Hondious who had been at the helm since its inception in 2014. He served in this position from January 2019 till 2020 when he was appointed KQ CEO.
It’s under the tutelage of Allan Kilavuka that KQ posted profits of Ksh988 million for the first time in 6 years. The national carrier recorded “a 120% improvement in operating profit from a loss of Kshs 5 billion reported in 2022 to Kshs 998 million in 2023″.
A press release from KQ read in par,
In the 2023 Half Year results reported, the Group’s revenue grew to Kshs 75 billion, recording a 56% increase compared to the same period last year. The operating improvement was underpinned by a growth in the cabin factor to 76.1%, with an increase in passenger numbers of 43% to 2.3 million.
The CEO had to share of the much awaited news,
“These results confirm the operational viability of the airline. We have enhanced our customer experience at different touchpoints, the reliability and availability of our aircraft have significantly improved, and Our On-Time Performance (OTP) has gone up from a low 58% at the start of the year to 77% at the end of June with a target of being above 80%.”
The CEO takes home Ksh40.5 million in salary per year which translates to Ksh3.375 million per month. The KQ CEO had agreed to a 35 percent pay cut on his salary. His predecessor Sebastian Mikosz earned Ksh40.06 million in 2019.
He enjoys hiking and is married with three children.