Kenya Airways to Cut 15% of Staff as Part of Turnaround Plan

Kenya Airways Ltd. said it will cut about 600 jobs as part of a plan to return the airline to profit after it reported the largest loss in Kenyan corporate history last year.

“We will embark on a restructuring process that will result in approximately 600 members of staff being declared redundant or redeployed elsewhere,” the Nairobi-based airline said in an e-mailed statement on Thursday. The company currently employs about 4,000 people, according to its annual report.

The airline is already shrinking its fleet size by almost a third, to reverse the 25.7 billion-shilling ($253 million) annual loss it reported in July. The measures are part of a reorganization plan developed by McKinsey & Co. Last month, the airline appointed PJT Partners Inc. to advise on how to restructure the company’s balance sheet and raise long-term financing.

The turnaround plan, known as Operation Pride, will generate about $200 million, half of which will come from cost reductions, the airline said. The job cuts will account for about 10 percent of the overall program, it said.

Kenya Airways said last week it’s planning to reduce its fleet size to 36 aircraft from 52. It has so far sold two Boeing Co. 777-200 planes and will sell two more, while it’s searching for carriers to sub-lease three of its Boeing 777-3300 planes, Communications Manager Wanjiku Mugo said March 24.

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