A day prior to the publication of results, showing a staggering 5.6 billion Kenya shillings loss after years of steadily growing profits, did Richard Nuttal tender his resignation to the board of directors, which according to reliable sources was accepted.
Nuttal was in the hot seat for just over a year, following the departure of his predecessor Hugh Fraser, who recently re-emerged in the region as acting CEO for upstart Air Uganda (they lost two CEOs in as many years).
A year ago KQ still wrote a 6.5 billion Kenya shillings profit into their books before suffering a full reversal this year. The losses are largely blamed on the rocketing fuel bills of 2008 and the cost of fuel hedging entered into by the commercial department, which subsequently proved highly disadvantageous for Kenya Airways, as the global fuel prices collapsed.
This, however, has been a problem of global proportions as many airlines were caught in this scenario at their expense.
Meanwhile, it is understood that Kenya Airways is on the way to restore healthy finances once again, as demonstrated by the board which recommended a 1 shilling dividend for shareholders in expectation of once again more prosperous days.
(US$1.00=2,138 Uganda schillings)