Kenya Airways has pulled out of Hong Kong and Hanoi routes after failing to make profits on the destinations.
The airline’s chief executive Sebastian Mikosz said it will instead focus on two other destinations in China – Bangkok and Guangzhou – that are more promising.
“The board has taken the decision to withdraw from Hanoi and Hong Kong allowing us to have a much more consistent product in Bangkok and Guangzhou,” he told The Standard.
The airline said it will discontinue flights on the two routes from October 29, 2017. Increased business between African countries and China has seen increased demand for travel with Africans mainly to the Far East to purchase goods for trade.
The airline had hoped to tap into this demand from business travellers but this strategy seems to have flopped.
Commercial Director Vincent Coste said this was aimed at optimising the national carrier’s route network.
He said the airline had evaluated the efficiency of its network to maximise productivity with the rollout of a new winter schedule.
Mr Coste said KQ would, however, continue to serve Hong Kong and Hanoi through its partners.
“The move will allow the national carrier to operate with a better schedule to Asia with a daily flight to Bangkok and Guangzhou.”
He said the network change would allow KQ to allocate more seats across its African network, where the demand outlook remains strong and capacity insufficient on certain routes.
“This will help Kenya Airways to strengthen its focus on Africa. We will continue to serve our customers to Asia through our direct flights to China and Thailand and work closely with our partners to cover the Asian continent,” said Mr Coste.
He said the airline was constantly assessing its network in order to position its fleet where there is strong demand. “With markets’ demand constantly changing, KQ is becoming more agile with this exercise.”