The management of Kenya Airways (KQ) has revealed that a rocky relationship between the airline and its pilots also played a role in the financial woes facing the national airline.
According to the airline’s Managing Director Mbuvi Ngunze and Human Resources Director Alban Mwendar, a decision by the union of pilots to withdraw their goodwill in working relations had cost the company greatly.
The two, who had appeared before a senate committee chaired by Kisumu Senator Anyang Nyong’o, said the move led to high cases of flight cancellations due to lack of pilots, which forced KQ to incur the cost of accommodating their clients in hotels as well as losing passengers to other airlines.
The goodwill requires that the pilots adhere to calls of duty if requested to come and fly during emergencies even when they are not supposed to be at work but its withdrawal meant that pilots were not at liberty to positively respond to such calls if they were called by the management when not on duty.
The decision by the Kenya Airline Pilots’ Association (KALPA) to withdraw the goodwill according to Ngunze came about early this year after ten pilots who were flying Boeing 777 were served with a notice for early retirement since the management had decided on decommissioning the fleet.
The 11-member committee was formed by the Senate in June to conduct an inquiry into the woes affecting the national carrier. This followed a public petition from the pilots and other KQ staff members who warned that unless drastic measures are taken to save the national carrier, it was facing an imminent collapse.
SH 10 B LOSS
KQ announced a net loss of Sh25.7 billion in the half-year ended September; reversing a net a profit of Sh384 million reported a year earlier.