Kenya Airways threatens to abandon ticket sales over pilots’ strike


Kenya Airways
Kenya Airways plane. PHOTO| COURTESY

The Kenya Airways Board has threatened to stop selling tickets on its networks if the Kenya Airline Pilot Association (KALPA) does not withdraw its strike notice.

In a statement to newsrooms, the airline says that the move will save them the costs associated with selling tickets and not carrying these passengers noting that the last industrial action by KALPA in April 2016 cost it 200 million shillings in revenues and cost in a single day, which KALPA did not pay for.

“The threatened action is already costing Kenya Airways significant losses as passengers have begun to make cancellations immediately the action was published,” read the statement in part.

“In addition, we risk losing critical support of financiers and suppliers that Kenya Airways is in negotiations with.”

While maintaining that the threatened industrial action called for by KALPA is unjustified and uncalled for the board further argues that it also has no basis and is outside the scope of KALPA’s collective bargaining agreement.

The board now says it is committed to regaining its position as the Pride of Africa by decisively reversing the downward financial performance.

The board says it disagrees with Kenya Pilot Association view about the national carrier saying their half year financial results set to be released this month, indicate an increase of 89,000 guests to 2.23 million compared to the same period last year.

Tourism Cabinet Secretary, Najib Balala, who also sits in a Cabinet sub-committee tasked with reviving the partly state-owned airline, says the pilots’ strike will further harm the airline.

The pilots’ union issued a seven-day strike notice on Tuesday, October 11 to press for the firing of the carrier’s Chief Executive, Mbuvi Ngunze, and the chair of its board, Dennis Awori.

They pilots say they lack confidence in the pair’s ability to drive its recovery.

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Story By Wangui Ngechu
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