May 25, 2019 / 8:39 AM / 24 days ago

CEO of Kenya Airways resigns, to leave at year end - internal memo

Kenya Airways Chief Executive Officer Sebastian Mikosz address delegates during a luncheon at their headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya June 27, 2018. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya/File Photo

NAIROBI (Reuters) - The chief executive of Kenya Airways has resigned, an internal memo seen by Reuters on Friday said, a potentially destabilising development for the national flag carrier that has been struggling to recover from years of financial losses.

In the statement, Sebastian Mikosz said the decision was a personal one and he would leave at the end of the year.

“I have made the decision to shorten my contract term and I have decided to resign on personal grounds effective December the 31st of this year,” said Mikosz, who was appointed in June 2017.

The carrier, which is 48.9 percent owned by the government and 7.8 percent by Air France-KLM, restructured $2 billion of debt last year. It is planning new routes as it tries to become profitable.

Kenya Airways reported revenues of 114.45 billion shillings ($1.13 billion) for the 12 months to Dec. 31, up from 106.17 billion a year earlier. Its pretax loss for the period narrowed to 7.59 billion shillings from 9.44 billion.

Mikosz said he believed it was the ideal time to begin the transition process to find a new leader who would continue the turnaround initiatives the airline began 3 years ago.

$1 = 101.1500 Kenyan shillings)

Reporting by George Obulutsa; Writing by Elias Biryabarema and Kirsten Donovan

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