Home' Travel News : June - August 2019 Contents 34 I travel news kenya june -august 2019
june - august 2019 travel news kenya I 35
Travel Awards of any kind really annoy
me, as most if not all of them are
contrived. First off you have to pay to
enter, effectively nominating yourself,
then you have to canvas friends and
customers and a whole lot more to vote
for you. I’ve received emails asking me
to vote for people and places I’ve never
heard of, it’s ridiculous.
These are not merit based in any way
shape or form. Granted some of the
winners deserve recognition, however
wouldn’t it be better to be nominated by
your peers and customers rather than
canvassing all and sundry?
I’m told reliably that to enter you have to
pay in the region of US$500 if you are
in the overall Africa category, another
US$500 for the Kenya category. But
that’s not the end, finalists - if that’s
what you can call them, then have to
attend the grand final presentation,
usually at some swank hotel in a swank
destination such as Dubai or Abu Dhabi.
It’ a costly exercise to tell the world
how great you are. Self-proclaimed of
But does the world believe you?
We are swamped by the best of
this and the best of that, there is no
credibility in any award I know of – it’s
a commercial marketing exercise, that
we the consumers are seen as ignorant
of the facts. We are not. I don’t know
about you, but I’m suffering from award
So when you see someone advertising
how great they are, unless you know
better, take it with a pinch of salt.
Another mystery saying ‘with a pinch
of salt’, is explained here: Why do we
say take it with a pinch of salt? The idea
comes from the fact that food is more
easily swallowed if taken with a small
amount of salt. Pliny the Elder translated
an ancient text, which some have
suggested was an antidote to poison,
with the words ‘be taken fasting, plus
a grain of salt’. Pliny’s Naturalis Historia,
I hope you have enjoyed a little bit of our
history, with an article, humour, images
and even a rambling from the past in
this edition. That we are 100 editions old
in this digital iteration of TN, is worthy of
a passing hoorah wouldn’t you say?
In the past two editions
I have taken Kenya Airways (KQ) to
task on a number of issues, top of my
list being their proposed take-over of
Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
Breaking news is that parliament now
recommends nationalising the airline
and to create an entity called the
Aviation Holding Company which would
include KQ and all of the Kenya Airports
Authority and an independent Aviation
This government entity would then pay
off the 80,000 private shareholders and
absorb the airlines debt of some Kshs.
75 billion (US$ 750 million). Additionally
it will review its aircraft leasing and
negotiate a staff rationalising scheme.
Scarry stuff for us meagre taxpayers
who will at the end of the day foot the
The aircraft leasing story is an interesting
side-note. In KQ's latest financials
it shows a line item loss of, which if
memory serves me correctly was Kshs.
780 million (US$ 78 million). Which
relates to the purchase at the top end of
the price spectrum of three new Boeing
777-300’s, which were leased out almost
as soon as they were delivered.
Obviously payments to the financiers are
far higher than the lease fees received
from the lessee Turkish Airlines. More
bad news was published in the local
media recently to the extent that Turkish
had negotiated a new lease for a further
3-years, albeit at reduced lease fees.
The expected loss is now expected to be
somewhere north of one billion shillings
(US$ 100 million). Turning around our
national airline with this sort of debt load,
is in my humble opinion impossible.
One industry source told me that from
day one buying these three aircraft was
a massive mistake. In that the airline
which already had three of the smaller
Boeing 777-200 variants in their fleet,
should have used these to the end of
their service life and in turn saved a
fortune. These aircraft now sit unsold in
various aircraft scrap yards around the
world (see above). Many major airlines
around the world still use 200’s to good
In my humble opinion it would be best
to declare ithe airline insolvent and let's
start all over again albeit with a clean
But then with this breaking news all
might change, I say might, as this, at
this point in time is only a proposal.
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