Cabinet brokers deal to avert KQ pilots strike

Cabinet brokers deal to avert KQ pilots strike

Last minute negotiations between the government, Kenya Airways and its pilots appear to have averted a strike planned for Thursday. Well at least for now.

The Kenya Airline Pilots Association has called of its strike following a deal brokered by Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia and Attorney General Githu Muigai.

The deal came just hours after the national carrier obtained a court order stopping pilots from downing their tools. The pilots had on Tuesday threatened that they would not fly any aircraft unless Chief Executive Mbuvi Ngunze resigned.

The pilots blamed the airlines poor performance on the CEO as well as instilling what they term as a string of bad decisions that could hurt the airline. Among the decisions they felt could jeopardies the airline include costly agreements with travel agents as well as sale and leasing of the airline’s aircrafts. The pilots also criticized the airlines management for selling its parking slot at London’s Heathrow Airport.

Under the agreement signed today, the three parties have set a one-month deadline to resolve thorny issues. The pilots strike notice has also been deferred to the first of June.

“We would like to assure our customers and business partners that we are fully operational and as your national carrier are committed to serving you with pride,” reads a joint statement.

Averting the strike, albeit temporarily, will come as welcome relief for Kenya Airways as it seeks to turnaround its fortunes.

The airline has been under a heap of operating challenges, brought to the fore most notably by its Sh25 billion loss announced in the last financial year.

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