Kenya Airways CEO Rejects AFRAA worries over Gulf Carriers, Adds More Middle East Routes

Kenya Airways chief, Titus Nalkuni, has rejected claims by AFRAA that Gulf airlines pose a threat to African aviation growth by poaching staff.

“We have lost just three or four staff to a Gulf airline and two of those came back,” Nalkuni said at the Embraer organised Connectivity in Africa conference in Nairobi this morning.

Kenya Airways Chief Dr Titus Naikuni
“In fact we have so many unemployed highly educated people here, they would be doing us a favour. Take them,” Nalkuni said.

Nalkuni said the East African airline had extensive plans for growth over the next ten years and has just agreed deals for two new B777-300ER aircraft from Boeing and leased a B747 freighter and two B737 freighters to give the growing cargo business a boost when they join the fleet in October.

The B777s will be delivered in 2013 and will be utilised on routes to the Indian subcontinent.
Kenya Airways is to begin flights to Beirut and Jeddah later in the year.

“We are still working on the Jeddah details,” Nalkuni said, “ There is a problem with slots at the moment. The times that we are being offered don’t fit in with our schedule.”

Investment in the infrastructure at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta international airport and the roads around it has given a boost to the Kenyan economy and to the national airline.

“We have a shortage of pilots,” Nalkuni said, “We have introduced new training schemes to encourage and support Kenyan nationals, but we will also be hiring foreign captains, particularly for our Boeing 737 fleet.
“And our conditions are better than the Middle East,” he laughed.
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  1. When you’re traveling, you are what you are right there and then. People don’t have your past to hold against you. No yesterdays on the road.


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