Kenya Airways slashed full-year operating losses to KSh6.8 billion ($59 million) during 2021, a reduction of 75%.

It generated just over KSh70 billion in revenues over the 12 months to 31 December.

But passenger numbers of 2.2 million were still 57% down on the pre-crisis figure in 2019, and capacity remained nearly two-thirds lower.

Despite the “muted operations”, the carrier says it achieved an improved performance owing to the easing of travel restrictions in some of its more important markets.

Chief executive Allan Kilavuka insists the airline’s management team is “committed to strengthening our business and achieving profitability” by focusing on sustainable operations “anchored around resilience, innovation, and diversification”.

Kenya 787-c-Kenya Airways

Source: Kenya Airways

“We are making investments in innovation, technology and other efficiencies that will give our employees the support they need to take care of our customers,” Kilavuka adds.

Kenya Airways chair Michael Joseph acknowledges that last year was “a challenging one” for the industry, with restrictions being lifted and re-imposed as it progressed. The emergence of the ‘Omicron’ variant of Covid-19, he says, “disrupted” the recovery.

“Restructuring and transformation initiatives made during [2020] contributed immensely to the recovery during the second half of [2021],” he adds.

Although direct operating costs for the airline rose by a third last year, as a result of increased operations and higher fuel prices, Kenya Airways says its total operating costs fell by 3.6%.