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NAIROBI: August 29, 2018. Kenya Airways has reported an operating loss of US$10 million and an after tax loss of US$40 million for the first six months (H1) of 2018 on revenue of US$516.5 million.

The airline said it had reduced its pre-tax loss by 30.8 percent; net profit loss by 28.8 percent; and overheads by 20 percent during the period as passenger revenue rose 6.0 percent and cargo revenue grew 24 percent, with uplift increasing 13 percent to 32,000 tonnes.

Kenya Airways Lion Cub“The business has remained resilient and is focused on delivering solid results,” commented chairman Michael Joseph. “We continue to optimize the network to create more connections through our hub in Nairobi and in turn increase efficiency in order to reduce overall costs and return to profitability,” he added.

During H1 the airline launched new services to Mauritius and Cape Town; established a joint venture with Air France; set up a “privileged partnership” with Air Madagascar and Air Austral; and prepared to launch a daily B787-8 service to New York from October 28.

In July the airline also helped rescue a one year-old lion cub called King from a Paris apartment where he was being held illegally as an “exotic pet”.

King’s repatriation began from the Natuurhulpcentrum animal rescue centre in Belgium and continued via London Heathrow on Kenya Airways flights to Nairobi and Port Elizabeth, South Africa. The final leg of the journey was a successful transfer to his new home at the Shamwari Born Free Big Cat Rescue Centre, an hour’s drive north of the airport.

Kenya Airways Area Cargo manager Katrina Hanson said the airline was “delighted” to help in the lion’s relocation. “This is in line with our policy to support the fight against illegal wildlife trade and crime. This cat’s population is steadily decreasing in the wild. In just two decades, Africa’s population has decreased 43 percent and it is estimated that as few as 23,000 remain.

“We have worked with Born Free for many years carrying rescued lions from Europe to Africa so they can enjoy being a lion. The 'Arc' facilities at Heathrow are fantastic for animal welfare from the smallest and domestic to the mightiest of beasts.”

Born Free Head of Animal Welfare & Captivity Dr. Chris Draper added: “It is staggering that, in 2018, lion cubs are still finding their way into the pet trade in Europe. We are concerned that King’s case is the tip of the iceberg, and that a great many wild animals are being kept illegally as pets across Europe and elsewhere.”

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