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The Pride of Africa, Kenya Airways, is Up for Sale

Three months after becoming president, President William Ruto made strategic moves to sell the government’s controlling 48.9 per cent stake in Kenya Airways to private investors. He made this move during the US-Africa Summit held last December in Washington. Ruto reportedly pitched a plan to Delta Air Lines to save the national carrier as his administration seeks to divest entirely from the struggling airline. “I’m willing to sell the whole of Kenya Airways Plc. I’m not in the business of running an airline that just has a Kenyan flag. That’s not my business,” Ruto told the press at the summit. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the KQ relied heavily on National Treasury bailouts. Last December, the exchequer told the International Monetary Fund that it would inject additional state support of $283.2 million to help the debt-drowning national carrier to meet overdue payments of $194 million- including lessors, operations, and maintenance. CH-aviation reported the airline’s debt to have totalled $835 million, including all debts, loans, letters of credit facilities, and convertible equity amounts. Contrary to former plans to nationalise KQ, Kenya is considering appropriate mechanisms to protect the national treasury’s financial interests during the restructuring process.