Kenya Airways CEO Sebastian Mikosz has announced plans to exit the airline by the end of this year.
In a memo to employees, Mikosz said he was leaving on personal grounds.
‘It is my personal decision and I have obviously discussed it with board as well as with my family,’ reads part of the memo.
The memo coming as a shock just when the national assembly transport committee is expected to release its findings on the Privately Initiated Investment Proposal.
The plan loosely translated as KQ planned takeover of JKIA was key plank of Mikosz’s three year transformation agenda for the airline.
In another memo to staff, Kenya Airways Chairman Michael Joseph applauded Mikosz for having brought what he termed as good results with excellent long term prospects in the troubled airline.
”He has been the driving force behind the launch of the New York flights, new catering and uniforms (to be launched), a greater emphasis on accurate and timely information, new destinations and a proposed fleet renewal programme, amongst many other initiatives,” said Michael Joseph.
Mikosz who joined KQ two and a half years ago will be leaving five months before the end of his contract. The three year contract was to run out in June 2020
“I believe that this is the ideal timing to begin a transition process to find someone who will continue with the turnaround initiatives that we started three years ago’ he said
Last month, the national carrier announced a Ksh. 7.6 billion net loss for the period ending December 31,2018.
The booked loss was however an improvement from the Ksh.6.1 billion loss posted in 9 months between March and December in 2017 which stretched to Ksh.9.4 billion when adjusted to a full year result.
In spite of the improved balance sheet, KQ posted an operating loss of Ksh. 683 million from a profit of Ksh.518 million shillings as new route investments and rising fuel costs ate into earnings.
The performance by the struggling airline was reflective of ongoing loss consolidation by the carrier having further cut its losses in 2017 from highs of Ksh.26.2 billion and Ksh. 25.7 billion in 2016 and 2015 respectively.
Mikosz tenure was also not devoid run-ins with the Kenya Aviation Workers Union (KAWU) and the Kenya Airline Pilots Association (KALPA). These most of the time leading to ugly standoffs that left the carrier exposed.
Mikosz took over from Mbuvi Ngunze in June 2017.
Before joining KQ, Mikosz was the head of e sky, a travel agency based in Poland but has previously served as the President and CEO OF LOT Polish Airlines.