Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua says national carrier Kenya Airways (KQ) is on its knees.
The DP was speaking in Botswana where he will be for a four-day working engagement, key among the engagements will be the 2023 Forbes Under 30 Summit Africa.
He asserted that the previous administration forced the airline to sign unaffordable contracts, which continue to prevent it from covering its operating costs.
“KQ is hardly able to meet its operating expenses and there are serious discussions on possible reforms to get KQ back on track. I must tell you the problem of KQ is what we have said, KQ is on its deathbed because of what you call state capture,” he said.
DP Gachagua stated that some of the contracts KQ was “forced” to sign, such as the leasing of aircraft, were at costs that could not be covered by the income.
Furthermore, the second-in-command said, the contracts were designed in such a way that breaking them would be very difficult due to the severe penalties.
“I think the state capture fellows were very clever, they did it in such a way that even if there is a change of government to get out of those contracts the penalties are extremely heavy,” Gachagua said.
He added: “But I can assure you that the government is well seized on the matter and the need for KQ to get back on track as the pride of Africa and as the national pride.”
The national carrier posted Sh38.2 billion loss for the fiscal year that ended on December 31, 2022.
KQ blamed the loss on increased rise in fuel prices and a challenging foreign exchange market.