Beginning July 1, Kenya Airways will begin three weekly flights between Nairobi and Cape Town, South Africa, the airline has announced. Cape Town makes Kenya Airways, second city in South Africa after Johannesburg and will be linked to Livingstone in Zambia, the gateway to Victoria Falls. Kenya Airways will be the only carrier to offer a direct service between Livingstone and Cape Town.
“We are excited to add a new destination to our network. We continue to connect Africa to the world and the world to Africa. Cape Town via Livingstone will offer our guests two holiday destination on one route,” Kenya Airways’ Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Mbuvi Ngunze said in a statement.
Kenya Airways was established by the Kenyan government on 22 January 1977, following the break-up of the East African Community and the consequent demise of East African Airways (EAA). Swissair was the first company that provided Kenya Airways with privatisation advice. In the fiscal year 1993 to 1994, the airline produced its first profit since the start of commercialisation. In 1994, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) was appointed to provide assistance in the privatisation process, which effectively began in 1995.
A large aviation industry partner was sought to acquire 40% of the shares, with another 40% reserved for private investors and the government keeping the remaining stake. British Airways, KLM, Lufthansa and South African Airways were among the airlines that expressed interest in taking a stake in Kenya Airways, which KLM was eventually awarded the privatisation of the company, and restructured its debts and made a master corporation agreement with the Dutch airline that bought 26% of the shares, becoming the largest single shareholder since then.
Shares were floated to the public in March 1996, and the airline started trading on the Nairobi Stock Exchange. The Government of Kenya kept a 23% stake in the company, and offered the remaining 51% to the public; however, non-Kenyan shareholders could at most had a participation of 49% in the airline.
Kenya Airways in March 2016 announced several flight scheduling changes that are expected to boost connectivity for passengers in Africa by at least 20%.