KQ resumes normal operations after pilots’ strike

A Kenya Airways plane taxiing at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. PHOTO| COURTESY

National carrier Kenya Airways has resumed normal operations just a day after flights were disrupted following a pilots’ strike.

In a press release, Kenya Airways said that all flights scheduled for Friday morning, with the exception of KQ 526 to Yaoundé – which was cancelled for operational reasons, had already departed.

“The rest of today’s scheduled flights are crewed for on time departure. We had 22 departures and six arrivals this morning. We advise all our guests to ensure they check their flights prior to departure through our KQ mobile app, website or 24HR Contact Centre. We will continue to give you regular updates via our social media pages,” read the statement.

“We wish to thank our guests for their patience and understanding and assure that we are committed to serving you and restoring your confidence in our airline,” further read the statement.

On Thursday evening, the Kenya Airline Pilots Association (KALPA) has called off its daylong strike that paralyzed operations of Kenya airways.

The deadlock was unlocked after the board announced management changes to appease the pilots.

Sources indicate that Flight Operations Director Paul Mwangi and Safety Director Alex Avedi have been sent on compulsory leave as part of the deal to get pilots get back to work.

It will come as a mini victory for the pilots who had wanted at least five directors including Chief Executive Mbuvi Ngunze to leave the airline.

On Thursday, pilots chose to carry on with the strike despite KQ management obtaining a court order blocking it.

Efforts by the transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia, Attorney General Githu Muigai and KQ Board Chairman Denis Awori to appease the pilots failed to yield much during an early morning meeting.

On Tuesday, the parties had signed an agreement deferring the strike notice until June 1, but the pilots are said to have objected the deal.

By midday, when the strike was supposed to start, hundreds of KQ PILOTS were holed up at a meeting at the KALPA Head office in protest. KALPA draws its membership from close to 500 pilots.

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Maureen Murimi
Story By Maureen Murimi
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