KAWU backs plan to nationalize flag carrier

Plans to nationalize flag carrier, Kenya Airways has received backing from the Kenya Aviation Workers Union (KAWU).

KAWU Secretary General Moss Ndiema says the move will save the troubled airline from accruing additional debt and turn it back to profitability.

According to Ndiema, the proposed nationalization will also ensure the aviation industry becomes robust resulting in the growth of the industry.

On Tuesday, the National Assembly Transport Committee rejected KQ’s earlier proposal to take over operations of the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, the hub of regional aviation.

The committee in the proposed nationalization recommended that the carrier be nationalized, a move that had brought division among shareholders during last week’s AGM.

The Kenya Aviation Workers Union says nationalization of the airline is drawn from best practices such as Ethiopia and South Africa amongst others which have successfully managed to thrive in the industry with public backing.

The parliamentary committee recommended establishment of an Aviation Holding Company with four wholly owned subsidiaries comprising the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA), Kenya Airways (KQ), the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) and a centralized Aviation Services College, which will run independently and also exempt from excise duty on excisable goods and jet A-1 fuel.

The State will also have to pay off debts in excess of Ksh25 billion owed to commercial banks, which were converted into equity during the restructuring of the carrier’s balance sheet.

  

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