, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 31 – At least 600 Kenya Airways (KQ) employees will from May this year be declared redundant or be redeployed elsewhere.
Making the announcement on Thursday, CEO Mbuvi Ngunze said the staff rationalization is aimed at cutting costs and help the ailing airline succeed in its turnaround journey.
The exercise will affect various departments and all cadres of staff, with details of positions and specific staff to be affected being worked on and released later.
“The decision communicated above is not made lightly, and I want to thank all employees for their tremendous resilience and commitment in serving our guests in challenging times for the company,”the CEO lamented.
Staff to be affected have been assured that the redundancy process will be in full compliance with labour laws, Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBAs) and individual staff members’ contracts as appropriate.
Staff rationalisation is one out of the 10 exercise being taken by the management to revive the national carrier which has consistently recorded billions of loses.
Ngunze says the move was inevitable calling on support from all stakeholders in this process aimed at bringing back KQ to profitability.
“So as to achieve these targets, the board has, after re-evaluating the various options, come to the painful decision that part of the required overhead savings will be derived from a decrease in staff headcount,” he said.
Last year Kenya Airways embarked on a turnaround program dubbed “Operation Pride” to improve profitability, revisit the airline operating model and network, and seek a long term sustainable financial structure for its business.
The Operation Pride is expected to deliver over Sh20billin of value in various initiatives, half of which focus on increase in revenue and the other half on cost reduction.
In full year 2015, KQ posted a further net loss of Sh25.7billion from a net loss of Sh3.3billion in 2014, representing a 661 percent drop.
The management attributed the loss to volatility of exchange rates, intense competition especially from Middle East carriers as well as terrorism that led to travel advisories.