Kenya Airways pilots withdraw strike notice ahead of release of business outlook


Kenya Airways pilots withdraw strike notice ahead of release of business outlook

Kenya Airways pilots allied to the Kenya Airline Pilots Association (KALPA) have formally withdrawn their strike notice that had been deferred last month.

This follows what the union terms as advance progress made on issues that had been raised.

In a statement KALPA secretary General Captain Paul Gichinga said progress made at the airline including the reduction of the half year loss to Sh5 billion had given confidence that the airline is headed towards stability.

“Based on the progress on specific issues raised by KALPA, we are confident that these developments will positively impact on the airline’s recovery efforts,” Mr Gichinga said.

Kenya Airways has been implementing a recovery plan drawn up by U.S consultancy firm McKinnsey dubbed ‘operation pride’ focusing mainly on cutting costs and improving the operational efficiency of the airline.

In the first six months, the airline’s revenues dipped slightly to Sh54 billion but managed to realize increased passenger traffic with 2.2 million passengers flown.

The pilots had on October 11 threatened to down their tools, pushing mainly for the exit of former Chairman Denis Awori and Chief Executive Officer Mbuvi Ngunze.

A deal struck by the government, which owns a 28.9 percent stake in the airline, saw the exit of Amb Awori last week, paving way for the appointment of former Safaricom Chief Executive Officer  Michael Joseph as Chairman.

Mr Joseph said the priority for the board under his charge would be to negotiate longer loan terms with lenders while restoring public confidence in the airline.

“Our first priority is to restructure the financing and once we have done that we can start thinking about a strategic investor but it is too early to talk about that at the moment,”

Kenya Airways is on Friday expected to make a major announcement about its future with an indication of several management changes.

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Story By Ephraim Mugo
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