Kenya Airways Ltd., more commonly known as Kenya Airways, is the flag carrier airline of Kenya. The company was founded in 1977, after the dissolution of East African Airways. Its head office is located in Embakasi, Nairobi, with its hub at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
The airline was owned by the Government of Kenya until April 1995, and it was privatised in 1996, becoming the first African flag carrier to successfully do so. Kenya Airways is currently a public-private partnership. The largest shareholder is the Government of Kenya (48.9%), with 38.1% being owned by KQ Lenders Company 2017 Ltd (in turn owned by a consortium of banks), followed by KLM, which has a 7.8% stake in the company. The rest of the shares are held by private owners; shares are traded on the Nairobi Stock Exchange, the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange, and the Uganda Securities Exchange.
Kenya Airways was established by the Kenyan government on 22 January 1977, following the break-up of the East African Community and the consequent demise of East African Airways (EAA). On 4 February 1977, two Boeing 707-321s leased from British Midland Airways inaugurated operations, serving the Nairobi–Frankfurt–London route. On internal and regional flights, the carrier deployed aircraft formerly operated by the EAA consortium, such as one Douglas DC-9-52 and three Fokker F-27-200s. In late 1977, three Boeing 707s were acquired from Northwest Orient. The following year, the company formed a charter subsidiary named Kenya Flamingo Airlines, which leased aircraft from the parent airline in order to operate international passenger and cargo services.Aer Lingus provided the company with technical and management support in the early years.