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Michael Joseph to stay at helm of KQ for three more years

Michael Joseph is also the chairman of Safaricom

Kenya Airways and Safaricom PLC Chairman Michael Joseph

Michael Joseph will for the next three years continue serving as the chairman of Kenya Airways (KQ) after extension of his contract.

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Joseph's contract renewal was approved on July 8, during the company's 46th Annual General Meeting at Pride Centre.

Joseph took over from Dennis Awori at KQ in 2016 before his contract was extended for another three years in 2019.

During his tenure, Joseph has witnessed Kenya's national carrier experience losses for five years straight. However, Joseph told shareholders that in 2021, KQ embarked on a path to recovery.

“2021 saw KQ get on a path to recovery as evidenced by the improved financial performance,” Business Daily reported.

In 2021, the airline reported a net loss of Sh15.8 billion, an improvement as compared to 2020 when they recorded a Sh36.2 billion loss, exercabated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chief Executive Allan Kilavuka during the meeting reassured shareholders that 2022 will see a growth in revenue as the company forecasts profits in 2024.

“We anticipate that we will be able to break even by 2024 with all the work that is ongoing (which) entails dealing with legacy issues mostly around cost, which are structural and complicated to deal with but we hope that by 2024 we will have broken even," he said.

Joseph reiterated Kilavuka's points, categorically stating that the airline plans to gradually stop its dependence on the government.

“We also recognise that due to legacy issues, we have been a drain on the exchequer. We expect to move out of that situation and become profitable and self-financing. We believe that we will no longer be dependent on Treasury and therefore on taxpayers to keep us going,” he said.

The CEO concluded the meeting by detailing the airline's plan to cut on losses, stating they have identified areas that contribute to losses.

“We are also working on reduction of other costs such as distribution and ground handling costs by dealing with the inefficiencies in these areas,” he told shareholders.

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