President Ruto In Talks With America’s Delta Air Over Sale Of KQ

President William Ruto held talks with officials from American airline, Delta Air over the sale of national carrier, Kenya Airways.

According to Business Daily, the Head of State met top executives of the American airline on Thursday, December 15.

During the meeting, Ruto is said to have declared the government’s intention to sell its entire 48.9 percent stake in Kenya Airways.

“I’m willing to sell the whole of Kenya Airways Plc. I’m not in the business of running an airline that just has a Kenyan flag, that’s not my business,” Ruto told Bloomberg News.

The government is taking this route in a bid to cut KQ reliance on the government for operational cash and bailouts.

“Discussions with Delta are at a preliminary stage. The government is looking for partnerships that will make Kenya Airways a profitable entity whatever that means, in whatever configuration, whatever form it takes,” Ruto added.

Elsewhere, KQ hopes to clear the KSh 6.5 billion salaries arrears by next year amid a rising unrest at the airline.

In an update on November 1, chief people officer Tom Shivo said the airline started paying the deferred salaries in December 2021 and hope to clear by June 2023.

The amount accumulated in April 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic period through to 2021 when the airline posted a net loss of KSh 11.49 billion.

“It is important to note that out of this amount, we have paid up to 40 percent to date,” Shivo said.

In 2021, KQ was forced to pay workers between 70-95 of their pay; promising to pay the balance once they accrue payments to lenders and suppliers in 2023.