In a media briefing today, the Kenya Airline Pilots Association (KALPA) decried the move by the national carrier to hire 20 foreign pilots. They insisted that there are Kenyans who are well qualified for the jobs.
”We have numerous suitable Kenyan captains on the Embraer fleet ready for promotion to the senior Boeing 737 fleet,” KALPA said.
Secretary General Captain Murithi Nyaga further accused Kenya Airways of breaching the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).
Though he acknowledged that there are circumstances where it may be necessary to hire expatriates, he argued that in this case, Embraer plane pilots from Kenya have been denied their chance at being promoted.
”It is agreed in principle that whenever a vacancy occurs, the most suitable Kenyan in terms of qualifications and experience would be appointed,” he quoted a section of the CBA.
The Kenyan pilots further argued that the move to employ foreigners is against the spirit of ‘Kenyanization’.
According to KALPA, there are hundreds of pilots who are unemployed and can be tapped to contribute to the growth of the national carrier.
KQ Chief Executive Officer Sebastian Mikosz defended the position saying that the situation would just be a temporary measure to address the shortage of pilots.