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No, I’m not to blame for KQ crisis, Naikuni tells Senators

Former Kenya Airways chief executive appeared before a select committee of the Senate on Tuesday where he defended his tenure at the airline, and instead blamed terrorism for the record Sh25.7 billion loss.

Titus Naikuni told Senators that persistent terror attacks in the country by the Somalia based Al-Shabaab terror group had led to a significant drop of passengers compared to what the management had predicted.

 

This in turn affected the airline’s expansion plans that had seen them invest in more aeroplanes under the Mawingu project.

The Senators however differed with Mr Naikuni’s explanation.

JOINT VENTURE

Committee members also raised concerns that the joint venture between KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Kenya Airways does not favour the latter.

Titus Naikuni during his helm at Kenya Airways. FILE PHOTO | NAIROBI NEWS
Titus Naikuni during his helm at Kenya Airways. FILE PHOTO | NAIROBI NEWS

Mr Naikuni however insisted that joint venture is not to blame for crisis at Kenya Airways because the formula for sharing profits had increased from a ratio of 40-60 to 50-50 after he intervened when he assumed office.

The former chief executive also told the committee that nobody was recruited at KQ illegally. All were licensed by Kenya civil aviation authority.

Mr Naikuni defended move to outsource staff saying it was in line with international standards.

The committee’s members have previously said that preliminary evidence has revealed strategic errors that led to the near collapse of Kenya’s flag carrier.

The committee chairman, Prof Anyang’ Nyong’o (Kisumu Senator) revealed that meetings with KQ management, so far, have given crucial indicators on what is ailing the airline, which is surviving on huge debts.