Kenya Airways Pilots Halt Planned Strike

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Pilots at Kenya Airways have halted plans to strike this week, a source at the airline said on Monday, after a court ruled last week that the action was illegal and the company said a stoppage would further hurt the loss-making airline.

“It is deferred,” the source told Reuters when asked about the indefinite strike that had been due to start on Tuesday. The source did not give further details.

The pilots union KALPA had called the to protest against the management of the airline, which is part owned by the government and Air France KLM.

KALPA Secretary General Paul Gichinga says they association has deferred the strike as they await the management to abide by the assurances made during the week-long negotiations.

He says he is confident the management of the airline will adhere to the pledges.

“We are hopeful that the government together with the management has shown goodwill of the changes expected at the airline.”

The news conference which was held at the Government Spokesman’s Press Room at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre was also attended by new Kenya Airways Director, Michael Joseph.

“We cannot comment about the discussions we have had and the agreements. Kenya Airways is a listed company; we have to inform shareholders first,” Joseph told the media.

The strike would have caused significant losses to the ailing airline as passengers had already begun making cancellations immediately the action was published.

The airline had hinted that the financial results for the first half of 2016/17 that are set to be announced on October 27, 2016 indicate great improvement.

“Our half-year results to be released at the end of this month reflect an increase of 89,000 guests to 2.23 million compared to the same period last year, an improvement in cabin factor by 3 per cent to 71 percent, an operating profit improvement of sh2 billion and a reduction in net losses of Sh7 billion, from Sh12 billion to Sh5 billion,” it indicated.

This is the second time members of KALPA have initiated strike action in 2016. During the last strike in April 2016 the airline lost Sh200 million a day and caused sever inconvenience and monetary losses to passengers.

The airline reported a Sh26.2 billion loss in their 2016 net profit impacted by a Sh9.7 billion foreign exchange losses.

1 USD=101 KES

Credit to Reuters, Capital FM News