The national carrier, Kenya Airways has confirmed Allan Kilavuka, as the new Chief Executive Officer effective April 1st. He has been the airline’s acting CEO since January when the former, Mr. Mikosz resigned before his contract expired. Prior to his appointment, Allan was the CEO of Kenya Airways’ subsidiary Jambojet and will now be joining the Boards of all the KQ’s subsidiary companies.
“It is particularly gratifying to me that the board agreed to support the appointment of Allan to the full role of substantive CEO. During his short time as acting CEO of KQ, Allan has thrown all his energy into this role, whilst still maintaining his position of CEO of Jambojet,” Kenya Airways Chairman Michael Joseph said in a statement on Thursday.
Allan Kilavuka holds a Bachelor of Degree in Commerce from the University of Nairobi, a Postgraduate Certificate in Psychology from the University of Liverpool and has also trained at General Electric. He has over 23 years’ experience in leadership having worked across various organization setups including strategy and financial planning.
The appointment comes at time airline companies across the world are facing coronavirus epidemic that has fanged deeper into the industry, disrupting thousands of flights to various destinations and China in particular. Several cases of the virus have been reported in South Korea, Iran, Italy, Japan, Germany, and Brazil. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has warned that the virus is causing a fall in passenger demand would cost the airline industry $29.3 billion loss in revenue this year.
All eyes and expectations from Kenyans have now been shifted to Mr. Kilavuka with hopes that he will perform a miracle that could turnaround the struggling airline company back to profitability. Kenya Airways former Polish CEO Sebastian Mikosz listed many excuses for why he could not be able to fly the airline off the turbulence. His main achievement, however, was the 2018 launch of the Nairobi-New York direct flights.
The airline reported a loss of Sh8.56 billion for the year ended June 2019 – a 112 percent which the board attributed to the increased cost of operation resulted from the airline’s expansion into new routes. Cirium, a travel industry data, and analytics in its 2019 On-Time performance (OTP) review ranked Kenya Airways last among the ten carriers in the Middle East and Africa.