Kenya Airways, showcased a robust performance last year, witnessing a remarkable jump in operating profit to Ksh10.5 billion during the review period, buoyed by a substantial surge in revenue.

The carrier experienced a substantial uptick in revenue, which soared 53 percent to Ksh178.5 billion, marking the first significant growth in operating profit since 2017.

This impressive performance, which saw the net loss narrow by 40.6 percent to Sh22.6 billion in the year ended December, is a major vote of confidence to KQ’s Chief Executive Officer Allan Kilavuka, who assumed the helm at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, which significantly impacted the aviation industry worldwide.

“These figures underscore the airline’s remarkable performance throughout the year, indicating our steadfast trajectory towards recovery,” said Mr Kilavuka.

Mr Kilavuka further outlined the company’s near-term focus on finalising a capital restructuring plan aimed at reducing the company’s financial leverage and reinforcing liquidity.

However, Mr Kilavuka noted that the pre-tax loss was primarily attributed to a sharp decline in the Kenyan shilling, resulting in loan revaluation losses.

Nonetheless, he expressed optimism, highlighting improvements in the currency’s performance and anticipating a positive impact on the carrier’s bottom line.

Operating costs during the review period surged to Ksh167 billion from Ksh122.4 billion, reflecting a 37 percent increase in running expenses.

Michael Joseph, Chairman of Kenya Airways’ board, hailed the results as “encouraging signs of continued recovery” within the aviation sector.

He said the results underscore the operational viability of the airline business, affirming that management’s ongoing efforts to restore profitability were yielding positive outcomes.

Kenya Airways slipped into insolvency in 2018 following an ambitious expansion drive that left it burdened with hundreds of millions of dollars in debt, prompting reliance on taxpayer bailouts for sustained operations.