NAIROBI (HAN) August 24.2016. Public Diplomacy & Regional Security News. Kenya’s national carrier Kenya Airways has moved to diversify its investments by unveiling buses that will ferry passengers from the central business district in Nairobi to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

In a newspaper advert, the airline said it has introduced KQ shuttle buses that will ferry passengers from the Central Business District to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) at a cost of $10.

The shuttle buses will depart from the city centre at 6am, 11am and 5pm. They will depart from JKIA to the city centre at 9am, 2pm and 9pm.

According to Kenya Airways the buses are meant to offer comfort and reliability in what could add to the sales of a carrier that posted a loss of Sh26.2 billion in the year to March.

“Spacious KQ shuttle buses now leave from the Sirios Car Park on Loita Street CBD, whisking you to JKIA in comfort and style,” the airline said in a notice.

“Why go through the hassle of finding your own way there when we will take you for just $10 one way?”

The carrier adds that each passenger will be allowed two pieces of luggage plus hand-held items.

It costs $1 to travel to JKIA with a public service vehicle while fare estimates for Uber Taxi are between $9 to 11$.

term10The firm is currently working on a turnaround strategy that includes staff right sizing, and rationalising its fleet through selling off and leasing some of its surplus aircraft. In January 2016, KQ sold two aircraft to Oklahoma based Omni Air international at an estimated Sh14.6 billion. An additional five aircraft have been sub-leased. The airline is however yet to sell its 30 acre piece of land at Embakasi.

The introduction of the shuttle service will compete with taxis that offer the services to tourists from hotels across the city and Kenyans who are flying in and out of the airport as it seeks to return to profitability following a string of losses in two financial years.

Kenya Airways announced a record net loss of $262 million in the year ending March, widening the $257 million net loss the year before.

The airline which is parly owned by Air France KLM has been reducing its fleet, selling land and cutting jobs to recover from losses caused by a slump in tourism and the cost of renewing its fleet. 80 employees have already been sent home with other 600 set to face the same fate.

The firm however recorded a 75 per cent reduction in operating loss from Sh16.3 billion in 2015 to Sh4.1 billion in the period under review. Passenger numbers rose to 4.23 million from 4.18 million as the proportion of occupied seats, the “cabin factor”, rose five percent to 68.3 per cent.

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