Why was Kenya Airways abbreviated KQ and not KA? Was it a mistake?

KQ Airbus amid Skys: Photo Courtesy

You are probably confused and wondering why such a mistake was made, why they couldn’t guise KA as the right abbreviation for Kenya Airways.

If there is a generation that wants to know everything and anything that happens in this country, then it is generation Z. Generation Z is the latest generation to be named. It comprises lads born after 1995. This generation is asking questions right left and center and wants to know everything. But they are right. Luckily, is right on their back and ready to inform them, and you.

 I aboded KQ Flight from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKA) (Nairobi) to Kisumu International Airport (Kisumu) last year at noon. I loved everything with the flight; hospitality, excellent reception, friendly crew. The excellent experience made me interested in knowing more about the Pride of Africa, KQ.

I took my fast assignment to find out why Kenya Airways has abbreviated KQ and not KA. Was it a mistake?

Kenya Airways (The Pride of Africa) was founded in 1946 under the East African Airways label. It served as a regional airline company that connected passengers to Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania. However, it was headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya.

The journey of the then future pride of the continent was not easy. As an entity, East African Airways ended in 1977 following the collapse of the East African Community (EAC) the same year. That is when Kenya Airways was born.

But why, KQ?

Kenya Airways was born in 1977 when Korea Air (KA) had already been registered and was operating its aviation industry. Therefore, the code “KA” had already been assigned to Korea Air (KA) by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

That is how Kenya Airways missed the code. Kenya was asked by IATA to choose another letter. With luck, Q was selected.

That is how Kenya Airways became KQ and not KA.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned at to get more insights.

-Barack Ongwe, the Informer.

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Written by Barrack Ongwe

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