The Kenya Airways board has approved a proposal to cut down it’s staff, networks, and assets duet because the Covid-19 pandemic has its operations heavily.
The pilots association has been notified by KQ about the pending axe. A large number, running into hundreds is going to be shown exit. Not a big shock, the national career has always been on ‘a loss making mode’.
But on Friday the management blamed the deep fall in revenue to the fact that they are doing continue optimal operations during this deadly pandemic.
They are carrying out a serious restructuring that will result to shedding off staff, network and asset.
The national careers interim chief executive, Mr Allan Kilavuka said the exercise will be done immediately.
“…..the company shall adhere to the provisions of the labour laws, the comprehensive bargaining agreement (CBA), and any related court orders. The employees affected by this move will be accorded the respect and dignity that is required,” a letter to Captain Murithi Nyaga of Kalpa reads in part.
Murithi is the CEO of Kenya Airline Pilots Association (Kalpa)
Mr Kikavuka said an internal review of operations they conducted in May showed that the operations would not be sustainable if things were unchanged.
He stated that what KQ is doing is what other airlines are doing globally because the pandemic has affected all. They are only flying to a dozen of destinations and that means insufficient revenues.
With a large part of their fleet grounded KQ must reduce operations to withstand reduced customer demand and economic shocks. On Friday the airline suspended flights to eight destinations in Africa due to operational challenges. The affected routes include Bamako, Blantyre, Brazzaville, Djibouti, Luanda, Mogadishu, Maputo and Khartoum.
Various governments have instituted travel restrictions to stem the spread of Covid-19, a situation that has taken its toll on the aviation sector.
The airline had already considered 1,500 of their 3,734 of their employees last December in the scheme they call ‘company-wide restructuring’.
A struggling airline like KQ pays its captains Sh1.6 million per month; first officers (Sh900,000); flight operations (Sh225,000); while technical, ground services, cargo and commercial staff are paid Sh150,000 monthly.
Kalpa projected that over 4,000 families will be affected by the looming layoffs that will also result to lose of highly trained talent to foreign carriers.
Industry players also argue that move will see Nairobi will lose its place as the regional hub to Addis Ababa or Kigali where respective airlines are facilitating investments.