Kenya Airways’ flight schedule disrupted by parts shortages

Kenya Airways is experiencing flight disruptions due to delays in securing aircraft components required for maintenance, the carrier said late on Monday.

The airline, which is one of Africa’s biggest, may be forced to cut some flights if the challenges of getting the parts persist, Chief Executive Officer Allan Kilavuka said in a statement.

“The challenges have been occasioned by the Ukraine war crisis, which has significantly crippled the Russian supply chain crucial to global aviation,” he said.

He cited titanium from Russia as one of the key raw materials used by the aviation industry and crucial to the maintenance of planes.

Kenya Airways, whose strategy hinges on connecting African travellers to the world and vice-versa through its Nairobi hub, operates a fleet of Boeing and Embraer planes. The airline is privately owned, but the Kenyan government has a 48.9 percent stake in it.

The statement comes a week after the Nairobi Securities Exchange announced the suspension of trading of the airline’s shares for another year. The suspension has been on since July 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, which devastated global air travel.

Last November, Kenya Airways’ pilots staged a days-long strike, which led to hundreds of flight cancellations and stranded thousands of passengers.

The airline also defaulted on a $525m loan from the US Export-Import Bank last year.


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