Kenya Airways first-half loss narrows 15% as borders reopen

Kenya Airways first-half loss narrows 15% as borders reopen

Aug 24 (Reuters) - Kenya Airways KQNA.NR said on Wednesday that its pretax loss narrowed by 15% in the first half of the year helped by higher passenger and cargo revenue as borders reopened with an easing of COVID-19 restrictions.

The airline reported a pretax loss of 9.861 billion shillings ($82.35 million) versus a loss of 11.542 billion a year earlier.

Revenue in the first half rose 76% from a year earlier while operating costs increased 53%.

Kenya Airways executives told a briefing that fuel prices were a major cost driver, noting the pretax loss would have been 3.328 billion shillings at last year's fuel prices.

The company's chief finance officer said the airline did not hedge on jet fuel in the first half but does sometimes and continues to review market developments.

"The opening of borders around the world has led to quick rebounds in some key markets. Kenya Airways remains active in accommodating the travel recovery seen in the first half," the airline said in a statement.

A restructuring process launched late last year aims to significantly reduce operating costs and optimise the network, it added.

($1 = 119.7500 Kenyan shillings)
Reporting by Alexander Winning; editing by Edmund Blair and Jason Neely