NAIROBI, 1st July 2021 … Today, Kenya Airways PLC (KQ) launched the Fahari Innovation Challenge, a springboard for new ideas and data-driven innovations to accelerate impact-driven solutions that address some of the societal and business challenges. The Fahari Innovation Hub is part of KQ’s strategy in contributing to the sustainable development of Africa by empowering, partnering and co-creating innovative ideas and strategies with local start-ups and the small-medium enterprises (SMEs) ecosystem.
“We understand that collaborating with start-ups or SMEs is a key driver for meaningful change and mutual benefits and we are looking forward to creating an enabling environment that will accelerate innovative ideas, knowledge exchange and impact business operations,” said Kenya Airways Chief Executive Officer, Allan Kilavuka.
“It is for this reason that the KQ Fahari Innovation Hub curated a virtual workshop for innovators and entrepreneurs dubbed the ‘KQ Aviation 101 Workshop’ that brought together various think-tanks, industry leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs and introduced them to opportunities within the aviation industry which includes airports, the food industry, tourism and digitisation. During the workshop, we introduced the KQ Innovation Challenge where we invited entrepreneurs to innovatively find solutions to address some of our business problems and pain points,” he added.
At the pace at which change accelerates, especially now in the middle of a global pandemic, corporates have become increasingly aware of the need to tackle innovation from different perspectives. Kenya Airways recognises that start-ups and SMEs are an invaluable source of innovation that can catalyse growth and provide much-needed business solutions to everyday challenges.
The workshop provided a line-up of speakers from the industry, including Boeing Horizon X, IATA, Kenya Tourism Board, Nas Airport Services, General Electric, Hivos East Africa, and Funkidz Limited. Kenya Airways is running the challenge in partnership with Strathmore University, Qhala and Sndbx who were also present during the event.
“Countless synergies exist between large corporates and startups within many ecosystems. As a company, we are founded on the power of digitisation and its potential to transform industries. Aviation can appear intimidating to those operating outside the sector, but this challenge gets to show the many opportunities in which startups and SMEs can plug into the diversification of Kenya Airways and the aviation sector,” said Dr Shikoh Gitau, CEO of Qhala.
“The aviation value chain goes so much further than the manufacturing of aircraft. Safety, technology, baggage, communication, meals, tourism, and hospitality are just a few examples of areas that entrepreneurs and corporates can collaborate in the aviation space. This initiative views start-ups as thinking partners, and it will be exciting to see the types of innovative solutions that come out of it,” noted Joram Mwinamo, CEO of Sndbx.
About Kenya Airways
Kenya Airways, a member of the Sky Team Alliance, is a leading African airline flying to 41 destinations worldwide, 34 of which are in Africa and carries over four million passengers annually. In 2020 KQ was named Africa’s Leading Airline by the World Travel Awards. It continues to modernize its fleet with its 32 aircraft being some of the youngest in Africa. This includes its flagship B787 Dreamliner aircraft. Kenya Airways offers services Cargo services to key locations including London, Amsterdam, Guangzhou, Sharjah, Mumbai and over 25 intra-Africa routes in addition to its passenger network. The on-board service is renowned and the lie-flat business class seat on the wide-body aircraft is consistently voted among the world’s top 10. Kenya Airways takes pride in being at the forefront of connecting Africa to the World and the World to Africa through its hub at the new ultra-modern Terminal 1A at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi.