A day prior to the publication of results, showing a staggering Sh5.6 billion ($71.8 million) pretax loss, after years of steadily growing profits, Richard Nuttal tendered his resignation to the board of directors, which, according to reliable sources, was accepted.
Mr. 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 CEO’s 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 KQ 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.