Court bars KQ pilots from going on strike

By Beth Nyaga

The Employment and Labour Relations Court has stopped Kenya Airways pilots from going on strike from Thursday.

Justice Nduma Nderi issued the orders on Wednesday barring the Kenya Airline Pilots Association from engaging in any industrial action on the grounds of mismanagement on the part of Kenya Airways.

The pilots wanted to use the strike to force out KQ Chief Executive Mbuvi Ngunze and criticising his turnaround strategy.

The carrier, which is 26.7 percent owned by Air France KLM, has been selling assets, including planes, and plans to lay off 600 people as it battles deep losses.

KALPA called the turnaround measures “questionable” and said Ngunze had to go.

They also wanted to compel the airline to review its 20-year-old deal with KLM in which the latter has a bigger say on the national carrier.

“This will be the first step towards recovery of Kenya Airways,” the association said in a statement.

“An interim order be and is hereby granted restraining the Respondents, its members, agents, servants and or sympathisers from calling, participating or engaging in any form of industrial action including strikes…,” said Justice Nderi.

The pilots’ association had said Ngunze’s efforts would not be successful while accusing KQ’s management of being responsible for the woes afflicting the national carrier.

They said gross mismanagement and fraud had cost KQ billions of shillings.

They argued that incompetence was the reason the company was unable to meet its revenue targets.

Kenya Airways is one of the largest carriers in Africa, ferrying 10,000 passengers a day on a fleet of Boeing and Embraer planes.

The judge said the case would be heard on May 9.


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