Kenya Airways has been on the news of late, for all the reasons that defy its logo, “pride of Africa”. At the moment, the only thing that we can be proud of is the fact that it still has our national colors painted on its wings. Other than that, everything else from service to profits are tanking at an alarming rate. Despite Jomo Kenyatta International Airport being the hub for the horn of Africa, you can’t resist blaming all of its tribulation on bad management and lack of expertise in running an airline business.
I for one I am not an expert in this field of business, but with that being said I have some idea of what can be done to reverse the trend. I have been lucky enough to be a passenger on many airlines owned by different companies around the world. With all the hours I have spent sitting in them and miles clocked flying to different destinations, I have noticed a thing or two that makes them different from Kenya Airways, and I am going to state the most obvious one.
One thing that stands out between Kenya Airways and other airlines is simply STAFFING. No other airline in the world operates with as many staff members as Kenya airways. The first thing you notice when you step in at JKIA is the number of staff wearing red uniforms with Kenya Airways logo walking all over the airport and rarely doing anything. Secondly, when you board a Kenya Airways flight, the number of flight attendants on board might surprise you. At any given instance, you are likely to find more than ten flight attendants. In most planes that I have been fortunate to fly on, none had more than three flight attendants at any given time.
For starters, as Kenya Airways tries to get back on its feet, they should start by looking at the staffing ratio. I know this means there will be loss of employment, but the airline also has an obligation to its investors to make them money, and the only way that is possible is to cut operating costs. After that, they can look at other things such as pricing, service, small planes, routes, and people with expertise in running Airline Company.
Kenya Airways, bring back the pride.