Kenya Airways is unable to source spare parts for its aircraft, and could suffer disruptions in its operations due to delays in the maintenance of its aircraft if the difficulties persist.
As reported by the CEO of the company Allan Kilavuka to Al Jazeera, “the challenges have been caused by the crisis in Ukraine, which has significantly paralyzed the Russian supply chain, crucial for global aviation.” The executive indicated that titanium from Russia is one of the key raw materials used by the industry.
The metal is one of the most difficult to refine, and is crucial for the manufacture of commercial and military aircraft, satellites.
Lasy year, the aircraft manufacturing giant, Boeing, warned that geopolitical changes brought about by the invasion of Ukraine could create supply problems for the crucial metal.
The purchase of titanium from Russia accelerated as a result of better trade relations with the West after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
But after Russia invaded Crimea in 2014, the industry began to diversify its sources.
Kilavuka’s statement comes a week after the Nairobi stock exchange announced that the national carrier’s shares will be suspended from trading for a further 12 months, extending the period the company’s stock is halted to more than three years as it struggles to return to profit.
The temporary ban has been in place since July 2020 to allow the company to complete its operational and corporate restructuring.
Kenya Airways, 48.9% state-owned, had been reporting losses even before the pandemic prompting the airline to ask the government for bailouts.