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By Bernard Gitonga
Rising costs have sunk Kenya Airways deeper into the red, after it reported a Sh12.9 billion loss for the financial year ended December 2019.
Despite growing its revenues by double digits, the national carrier widened its losses by a staggering 71 percent from the Sh7.5 billion loss it reported in the same period in 2018 to the current Sh12.9 billion.
The airline said the total revenue for the group increased by 12.4 percent from Sh114 billion in 2018 to Sh128 billion last year.
“The growth was due to improved passenger, cargo, ancillaries, and other revenue streams, mainly due to expansion of the Kenya Airways network,” the airline’s chairman Michael Joseph said in a statement.
It said its operating costs grew by 12.4 percent, driven by the increase in capacity deployed and an increase in fleet ownership costs attributed to the return of two Boeing 787 aircraft that had been subleased to Oman Air.
This saw its total costs surge from Sh114.8billion to Sh129.1billion, wiping away any benefits from the increase in sales.
Passenger revenue grew by 8.9percent driven by route expansion among them the full year of New York operations, launch of Rome, Geneva and Malindi.