Struggling Kenya Airways enlists Seabury

Kenya Airways chief executive officer Mbuvi Ngunze has revealed that the struggling East African carrier has hired Seabury Consulting, an advisory firm specialising in airline strategy development and turnarounds, to help revamp its operations.


Kenya Airways chief executive officer Mbuvi Ngunze has revealed that the struggling East African carrier has hired Seabury Consulting, an advisory firm specialising in airline strategy development and turnarounds, to help revamp its operations.

Speaking at a press conference in Nairobi last week, Ngunze said that since the beginning of the year, Seabury specialists had been analysing Kenya Airways’ sales, ticketing, and network planning functions with a view to bringing them into line with global best practices.

“The Seabury team will [be] looking at all our commercial business and benchmarking with the industry,” Ngunze was quoted by Kenya’s Star newspaper.

“They will then give recommendations based on that audit. They will highlight the areas where there is scope for improvement.”

An undisclosed group of global financial firms have also been enlisted to restructure the airline’s debt and retire short-term loans said to amount to KES40.7 billion (US$419.29 million). Over the past 18 months, the airline has been hit hard by the Ebola outbreak in West Africa as well as a spate of Al Shabaab terrorist attacks which have targeted local cities and towns.

In addition, strong competition from regional rivals Ethiopian Airlines, as well as Emirates and Etihad Airways has forced the carrier to scale back its widebody operations with its B777- 200(ER) and B777-300(ER) fleets to be phased out by year-end. It has also transferred its remaining B787-8s on order from Boeing to sale/lease-back agreements.