NAIROBI, Kenya Aug 25 – British Airways says it will not scrap flights to Nairobi despite reports of crew misconduct threatening its operations in Kenya.
British Airways Country Manager George Mawadri confirmed to Capital Business News that the airline had received complaints from the hotel BA crew use in Nairobi over unbecoming behaviour.
He was responding to reports in the British Mail Online on Wednesday, that the airline’s top mangers feared having to do away with the Nairobi route if their contract with the hotel was terminated since it is the only one they use due to security concerns.
Mr Mawadri however said that they have been in communication with the hotel, in which they take out five thousand rooms a year and disciplinary action had been taken against the offending crew members.
“We have received several complaints from our hotel suppliers and taken action on it. We continuously remind our crew of the high standards that they must adhere to while working for British Airways,” Mr Mawadri said.
The Mail Online story indicates that the problem was particularly acute on routes serviced by young recruits (the so-called ‘mixed fleet’).
It goes on to reveal how a memo was sent from British Airways management – asking captains and senior cabin crewmembers to ‘sensitively manage pool/room parties and any raucous crew behaviour’.
Mr Mawadri reassured customers that the Nairobi remains an important route for the airline and that all necessary action will be taken to ensure the route remains in operation.
“Our customers should be confident that we will continue serving this route,” Mr Mawadri said.
Among the complaints raised include drunk and disorderly behaviour as well as throwing wild parties that lead to damages at the hotels
In one instance, BA officials said, “They (the crew) pilfer champagne from the aircraft to drink in the crew hotels because buying their own drinks in a five-star hotel is too expensive. Then they run amok, holding wild room parties and going topless in the pool.”
The Mail Online reported that BA had sent out an internal message to all crew warning they faced dismissal if they were caught taking alcoholic drinks off planes without paying for them.
Although cabin crew are banned from drinking alcohol in uniform, another BA source said: ‘Those rules are only adhered to “in public”. What goes on in the hotel room is different.
“Often when away from home, crew have room parties. Crew are able to buy cheap alcohol on board the aircraft and consume this in hotel rooms, thereby avoiding expensive bar prices. Games often played are variations on “spin the bottle”, “truth or dare” and “I have never…The room parties often get quite wild. I have seen damage occurring to the hotel, I have seen nudity and streaking.”
The report says: “In Cyprus once, crew returning to the hotel from a night out found a donkey tied up in a field. The donkey was led back to the hotel and the crew managed to get it into a lift and up to the fourth floor, before hotel security intervened.”
The source told the Daily Mail: “A phrase often used is: “What happens ‘down-route’ stays down-route” however this is not always the case. Rumours do the rounds all the time.
“The rumours are known as “Galley FM”, and cover everything from who’s sleeping with who, to what plans the company has for routes or expansion and so on.”