Kenya Airways planes were grounded amid disagreements about lease fees with two leasing firms.

The two lessors were opposed to Kenya Airways’ new payment terms. As a result, the lessors grounded their planes at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi, according to Business Daily.

The other six leasing firms have, however, indicated that they are open to discussing the new reduced payment terms with Kenya Airways and they have not grounded their planes.

The international airline has not revealed how many planes have been affected, according to reports. As per Business Daily, the state is working on restructuring the international airline on the back of its multi-billion shilling bailout of the airline.

The bailout terms include reducing its network, operating a smaller fleet, and possibly laying off more staff.

“We are asking them to reduce their cost but some are not agreeable to the terms we are proposing. Until we agree, we want to put a pause to our relationship,” Allan Kilavuka, CEO of Kenya Airways, said.

“Two of them are not agreeable to the concession we are proposing. The other six are open to discussion and we have not signed up anything yet. Their planes are operational,” Kilavuka said.

The airline reached an agreement with the lessors last year to only pay when they fly leased aircraft following the grounding of its services on the back of Covid-19, which saw planes remain inactive. The new arrangement has seen the cost of maintaining its fleet drop from Sh28.5-billion ($246.4-million) in 2020 to Sh16.6-billion ($143.5-million) last year.

Some of the planes whose lessors are having a fallout with Kenya Airways over the new payment terms include Boeing 737 narrow-body jets, Boeing 787 wide-body jets, and Embraer.


By Zintle Nkohla 

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