, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 13 – The Senate select committee of inquiry into the affairs of Kenya Airways began its investigations Monday in a bid to resolve the issues affecting the airline which have seen its profits drop significantly.
The committee chaired by Kisumu Senator Anyang’ Nyong’o heard from the Kenya Aviation and Allied Workers Union, the Kenya Airlines Pilots Association (KAPLA) and the Cabin Crew Branch Aviation and Airport Services Union who preferred to have the session closed claiming that the information they were presenting was sensitive.
Nyong’o said the representatives had enlightened them on what ailed the airline, information that would be vital in drawing conclusions for their report which is to be presented before the Senate within three months.
“We have began to understand issues of operation, airline schedule, management, financial problems and others but we can’t draw our conclusions just yet, we need to hear from others because you know many other parties are concerned,” said Nyong’o.
The union representatives according to Nyong’o were also cautious about publicizing their side of the story as certain issues for instance the matter on firing of the airlines pilots was before court.
The Kenya Airlines and Pilots Association was represented by Cpt Ronald Karauri (Chairperson), Kenya Aviation and Allied Workers Union by Perpetua Bonjiwa (Chairperson) while Julius Chacha represented the Cabin Crew Branch Aviation and Airport Services Union which he chairs.
Nyong’o said the underperformance of the airline known as the ‘Pride of Africa’ was alarming especially since the country had invested heavily on it and were keen on restoring it back to its former glory.
“My daughter was flying to Dares Salaam and the flight was scheduled for 3 o’clock but they left at 10 pm. They had to fly on precision to Zanzibar then to Dares Salam and when they got there they got their luggage two days later,” said Nyong’o.
He said these delays were ruining confidence people had in the airline and were contributing to the losses it was making.
The committee will look into the leasing and buying arrangement of aircraft since 1996, the role of offshore companies in the investment affairs of the airline, the identity of the shareholders of the offshore companies and their level of engagement with the KQ management.
It will also take into account the employment policy and practices of personnel including engineers, pilots, cabin crew and ground personnel, the reason for delayed and cancelled flights and the losses incurred in the process this in a bid to find a solution to the financial and management crisis facing the airline.
in the half-year ending September 2014, the carrier recorded an after tax loss of Sh10.4 billion which it attributes to the challenging business environment.
However with the lifting of travel advisories imposed in parts of the country, the business environment is bound to improve.
The committee has since called on concerned members of the public to present their memoranda to them during sessions to be held on 21st and 22nd July at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre.
Senators present were Mutahi Kagwe (Nyeri), Billow Kerrow(Mandera), Peter Mositet (Kajiado), Wilfred Lesan (Bomet), Boni Khalwale (Kakamega), James Orengo (Siaya)Agnes Zani (Nominated) and Naisula Lesuuda (Nominated).