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Polish expat exits KQ in top executives changes

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One of the five Polish expatriates hired last year has exited Kenya Airways (KQ) #ticker:KQ in ongoing management changes at the airline aimed at reversing its loss position.

Vincent Coste, who has been the commercial director at the national carrier, is among the individuals brought in by the firm’s managing director Sebastian Mikosz to help turn around the ailing firm.

Prior to the hiring of the five, Mr Mikosz had said last year that these expatriates were to be hired on an initial three-month contract.

Kenya Airways declined to comment on Mr Coste’s departure, only saying it was part of changes that the airline has been undertaking.

“KQ has been undergoing changes for the last two years and it remains business as usual,” said the airline in response to queries Thursday.

Mr Coste had been working with KQ since lats September and the first initial three-month contract came to an end in November.

Other changes include the appointment of Catherine Kamau as the director of marketing. She will be responsible for spurring passenger numbers at the airline.

The five expats were part of a team that revamped LOT Polish Airlines and KQ has been banking on them to return the carrier to profitability.

Kenya Airways’ shareholder value moved into positive territory riding on last year’s balance sheet restructuring that reduced its annual debt payment obligations, leaving room to revamp its operations.

The national carrier’s equity position stood at Sh417 million in the nine months between April and December 2017 compared to negative Sh45 billion in the year to March 2017, according to a financial report released this year.

The change in fortunes follows a complex restructuring of the business that saw the airline’s main creditors — 10 commercial banks and the government — convert Sh44.2 billion loans into equity to save it from collapse.