In 1986, Sessional Paper Number 1 was published by Kenya's government, outlining the country's need for economic development and growth. The document stressed the government opinion that the airline would be better off if owned by private interests, thus resulting in the first attempt to privatize the airline.
The government named Mr. Philip Ndegwa as Chairman of the Board in 1991, with specific orders to privatize the airline. He heads a renewed company cabinet.
In 1992, the Public Enterprise Reform paper was published, giving Kenya Airways priority among national companies in Kenya to be privatized.
In 1996, shares were floated to the public, and the airline started trading on the Nairobi Stock Exchange.
In more recent years, Kenya Airways suffered an accident, when a plane of theirs leaving Côte d'Ivoire on its way to Nairobi crashed after takeoff, killing all but 10 passengers.