The Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) has extended the suspension from trading of Kenya Airways (KQ, Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta) shares for an additional nine months with effect from April 5, 2021.

This is the third extension after an initial three-month suspension from trading at the NSE in July 2020. Its share price on July 2, 2020, was KES3.83 (USD0.03) per share.

“The company is yet to finalise on its operational and corporate restructure for the eventual Government buy-out, following the publication of the National Management Aviation Bill, 2020, on 18th June 2020,” said the NSE in a public notice.

The Aviation Bill proposes the flag carrier's re-nationalisation by creating a holding company, Kenya Aviation Corporation, that will house Kenya Airways, the National Aviation Council, and the Kenya Airports Authority.

Kenya's capital markets regulator, the Capital Markets Authority (CMA), approved and issued the suspension under the Capital Markets Act and Regulation 22 of the Capital Markets Regulations, 2002.

The Kenyan government owns 48.9% of the national carrier. It is expected to buy out the remaining holders of 51.1% of the shares, of which Air France-KLM owns almost 8%. Local lenders own a 38.1% stake which they acquired in 2017 after Kenya Airways was unable to service its loans of KES16.9 billion (USD157 million).

The airline’s net loss stood at KES36.2 billion (USD335.8 million) on December 31, 2020, compared to KES12.9 billion (USD120.3 million) on December 31, 2019.

The airline had been forced to shut down its scheduled operations from April to July 2020 due to Kenya’s COVID-19 lockdown. After resuming operations in August, network operations remained limited due to travel restrictions in its key destinations. This reduced flight capacity saw its revenue for the year plunge by 58.8% to KES52.8 million (USD492.5 million).