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Kenya Airways receives $92 million from government -paper

Kenya Airways planes are seen through a window as the Jomo Kenyatta international airport reopens after flights were suspended following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Nairobi, Kenya August 1, 2020. REUTERS/Njeri Mwangi/File Photo

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenya Airways has received 10 billion shillings ($91.49 million) from the government, the Business Daily newspaper reported on Wednesday, part of efforts to prop up the carrier after the pandemic grounded global aviation.

The airline, which is majority owned by the government with Air France-KLM holding a small stake, secured 8 billion Kenyan shillings from the Treasury and 2 billion shillings from the ministry of transport, the paper reported, citing a supplementary budget presented to parliament on Tuesday.

Kenya Airways declined to comment on the report, which did not say when the airline had received the funds.

African airlines have struggled, potentially losing $6 billion in passenger revenue during 2020, after the pandemic grounded much of the global aviation industry, the International Air Transport Association said last year.

In January, an internal memo seen by Reuters showed the airline was planning employee pay cuts of as much as 30% for six to 12 months.

CEO Allan Kilavuka said in the memo that the company was grappling with an unsustainably high level of debt.

A draft law on nationalising the airline has been submitted to parliament and trade in the company’s shares on the Nairobi Securities Exchange has been suspended since July as the carrier works on a restructuring plan.

Kenya Airways said in August that it expected its full-year 2020 revenues to drop by between 60 billion shillings and 70 billion shillings and reported first-half pre-tax losses of 14.36 billion shillings.

($1 = 109.3000 Kenyan shillings)

Reporting by Omar Mohammed; editing by George Obulutsa, Kirsten Donovan

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