One of Africa’s largest airlines, Kenya Airways, has announced its biggest ever annual loss of $290m (£188m).
Speaking on the loss, Finance Director, Alex Mbugua also told investors that the airline has been hit by competition from Gulf carriers, as well as decline in the country’s tourism sector.
Competition from within the continent is also a factor, with Ethiopian Airlines becoming a major regional rival.
Tourism numbers are down because of the attacks in Kenya by Somalia-based militants al-Shabab, also the airline has been late in responding to the challenge of Ethiopian Airlines, African Aerospace magazine editor Alan Peaford said.
Kenya Airways moved to upgrade its aeroplanes ordering its first Boeing 787 Dreamliners in 2013, some two years after Ethiopian Airlines.
But the timing was unfortunate as it coincided with the tourism slump and the “growth of the fleet… was not matched by revenue growth,” the airline’s Mbuga acknowledged.
As a state-owned company Ethiopian Airlines does not publicly declare its profits or losses, making it hard to draw a financial comparison between the two airlines.