'Kenya Airways said SAA is our role model! We want lots of government money!'
A decade ago, Kenya Airways was much like the big player that Ethiopian Airlines has become on the continent.
Now, it's a loss-making airline like South African Airways (SAA) although a minority portion was privatised more than 20 years ago.
The Kenyan government has offered the airline the second (hushed-up) bailout in a year.
The latest rescue is worth more than R1.3 billion ($90 million).
Kenya Airways - they've looked at SAA and said, you are our role model! We want lots of government money!Bruce Whitfield, The Money Show host
Whitfield interviews the CEO of Africa @ Work, Dianna Games.
Africa's air space is growing increasingly small in terms of continental carriers... Kenyan Airways, Ethiopian, SAA - those are the three people would typically mention.Dianna Games, CEO - Africa @ Work
But, in fact, Kenya Airways is in deep trouble.Dianna Games, CEO - Africa @ Work
The government is buying out all the minority shareholders [including Air France-KLM] and pushing a bill for nationalising the airline in the belief that if government owns it, they can make it work.Dianna Games, CEO - Africa @ Work
From what we've seen from our national example, the beleaguered SAA, that is certainly not the case says Games.
It's likely Kenya may be looking at the Ethiopian model for guidance instead.
Ethiopian is government-owned and it's one of the few that is uniquely well-run for a state-owned enterprise... because it's been allowed, and fought very hard for, a huge amount of independenceDianna Games, CEO - Africa @ Work
We'll have to see how deep the Kenyan government's pockets are because in South Africa we've seen how deep they need to be to go down this road.Dianna Games, CEO - Africa @ Work
Listen to Games' update on Africa Business Focus (Kenya Airways segment at 8:28):
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