European Union Revokes Kenya Airways Plane Servicing Licence

European Union Revokes Kenya Airways Plane Servicing Licence (News Central TV)

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has revoked a licence it had granted Kenya Airways (KQ) to maintain UK-registered aircraft after it failed a compliance audit.

According to the Kenyan national carrier, the agency revoked the license because, during the certification audit, the agency requested that KQ separate some of its general storage and install a temperature control device in accordance with European standards.

The EASA is a certification and regulatory body that covers European airlines as well as those who want to perform maintenance for European registered carriers.

It is in charge of certification, regulation, and standardisation, as well as investigation and monitoring.

“As you may know we are in the tropics and our manuals do not require us to have temperature controls such as those in Europe where there are extremes.

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“We are, however, working on compliance,” KQ director for technical Gilbert Bett told newsmen.

Kenya Airways Director for Technical Gilbert Bett

Kenya Airways had applied for EASA certification (EASA Part 145 requirements for a Part 145 Maintenance) as part of a strategic expansion for maintenance, repair, and operations (MRO), as well as the possibility of servicing and maintaining European registered aircraft.

The EASA is one of the certifying bodies with which KQ collaborates. The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority is the primary regulator of the national carrier (KCAA).

KQ has always complied with the EASA and all other regulatory and certifying organizations’ certification requirements.

“Compliance is our licence to operate. This is why we worked with EASA. It forms part of our MRO to service and maintain European-registered carriers.”

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If the licence is revoked, KQ will lose revenue from plane maintenance for European Union-registered airlines.

The airline stated that it did not have any aircraft requiring EASA certification under maintenance.

“There is no revenue loss as there is no aircraft under maintenance that requires EASA certification. We do not have any European-registered aircraft under maintenance,” said Bett.

The airline has been diversifying into new revenue streams in order to shore up its earnings, which stood at Sh70.22 billion in the fiscal year ended December and were boosted in part by alternative sources such as air charter services.

For example, following the grounding of its services due to Covid-19, the national carrier reached an agreement with lessors in 2021 to only pay when they fly leased aircraft.

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The carrier saved $45 million (Ksh4.7 billion) in fees by changing the lease terms on its aircraft fleet, opting for hourly rates rather than fixed costs.

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