Kenyan pilots threaten to strike
Kenya Airline Pilots Association (KALPA) is threatening to take industrial action from October 18.
The reason for the strike is because of the association’s dissatisfaction with Kenya Airways’ senior management. KALPA on Tuesday issued a seven-day strike notice demanding changes to the airline’s management. The association has called for the resignations of Kenya Airways chairman, Dennis Awori, and chief executive, Mbuvi Ngunze.
In a statement released on Thursday, Kenya Airways said the industrial action was unjustified and uncalled for. “The threatened action is already costing Kenya Airways significant losses as passengers have begun to make cancellations immediately the action was published.”
According to marketing manager for Kenya Airways in South Africa, Tracey King, the airline does not plan to cancel any flights at this stage.
If Kenya Airways’ pilots go on strike, they would do further damage to the embattled airline, Najib Balala, Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Tourism, said on Wednesday, appealing to the pilots not to strike. According to the airline, the last industrial action by KALPA in April 2016 cost the airline KSh200m (R28m).
Speaking at the Magical Kenya Travel Expo in Nairobi on Wednesday, Najib said that at a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday morning, a decision had been taken to restructure the airline. “In the next month we will see the results.”
He said it was important to keep the airline afloat because it was an important carrier, not only for Kenya, but also for the region. “It plays an important role in the arrivals we see in Kenya and East Africa.”