Kenya Airline Pilots Association (KALPA) are threatening to go on strike to protest the poor management of the country’s troubled national carrier.
This pilots union wants the management of Kenya Airways, specifically the Chief Executive Officer Mbuvi Ngunze, to resign due to lack of competence.
Capt. Paul Gichinga, the head of the association, said:
”We have no confidence in the airline’s recovery,”
”KALPA’s members will from 5:00 a.m. on Tuesday 18th of October down their tools until a comprehensive change of guard at Kenya Airways is effected.”
The Capt added that KALPA is open to negotiations with the airline’s hierarchy and government officials to find suitable outcomes.
The Kenya Airways board, led by Amb Awori and Transport CS James Macharia, have however insisted that Mr Ngunze remain in office.
The call for change in management and operations comes as the airline announced its biggest loss yet of KSh 26.2 billion despite efforts to cut costs. It has cut its fleet, sold land and cut jobs to try to recover from losses caused by what it called a slump in tourism.
Last month Kenya Airways, which is 27 percent-owned by Air France KLM, said it was seeking foreign investment to raise cash. The company said it needs about 70 billion shillings ($692 million).
Kenya Airline Pilots Association has also raised concern of the serious drain of pilots to Middle East carriers which are affecting operations. Kenya Airways has lost 60 pilots to rival airlines in the past one year as well as a number of engineers.
This will be the second strike notice by KALPA in this year. In April, the association had a one-day strike action, which led to serious operational challenges for Kenya Airways with hundreds of flights cancelled.
The strike also resulted in the resignation of senior managers.