Two KQ directors opt for leave after pilot row

April 29, 2016
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The two are Director Corporate Quality, Safety, Security and Environment Alex Avedi and the Director, Flights Operations, Captain Paul Mwangi/FILE
The two are Director Corporate Quality, Safety, Security and Environment Alex Avedi and the Director, Flights Operations, Captain Paul Mwangi/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 29 – Two directors at Kenya Airways (KQ) have opted for leave of absence as negotiations continue between the airline and the Kenya Airline Pilots Association (KALPA).

The two are the Director Corporate Quality, Safety, Security and Environment Alex Avedi and the Director, Flights Operations, Captain Paul Mwangi.

KQ Chief Executive Mbuvi Ngunze further stated that the firm’s Human Resources Director, Alban Mwendar had earlier this month resigned but was asked by the Board to stay on to oversee the staff rationalisation programme that was announced on March 31, 2016.

The announcement comes after KALPA called of their strike on Thursday evening with normalcy resuming on Friday morning.

In a statement, the Kenya Airline Pilots Association stated that the strike had achieved overwhelming support after some of the airline’s top directors were sent home or forced to resign.

“Kindly be advised that negotiations are still ongoing and timelines have been set and restated today by the Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia so we expect more management changes by June 1st 2016,” KALPA Stated.

The strike led to the cancellation of 10 flights Thursday, leaving hundreds of passengers stranded, a move likely to disrupt many more scheduled flights.

KALPA on Tuesday issued a 48-hour strike notice calling for the resignation of the Kenya Airways Managing Director Mbuvi Ngunze.

They accuse the KQ boss of mismanagement citing that Ngunze is inexperienced and lacks capacity to bring the airline back to recovery.

Among the issues raised by the association include revenue loss, questionable recovery strategies that include selling its most valuable assets in a bid to get back to profitability.

“KQ has already sold two out of the four Boeing 777-200 at throwaways prices, they have also sold the highly valuable slots into London Heathrow Airport and proceeded to lease some unfavourable slots from KLM,” KALPA Secretary General Gichinga said at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon.

He says London accounts for 10 percent of KQ revenue with the sale of the prime slots; it will take more than a miracle to maintain the revenue stream.

The association also faults the KQ mismanagement for missing their revenue target by Sh50 billion in the year ended March 2015 and is pessimistic that airline will recover from its Sh25.7 billion 2014/15 loss.

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