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Normal operations to resume at JKIA after NYS, Airforce deployment: CS Macharia

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 6 – Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia has said normal operations at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) will resume by end of Wednesday following the disruption caused by a strike by Kenya Aviation Workers Union (KAWI).

Macharia said that the National Youth Service and Kenya Air Force have been called in to screen passengers and luggage, a major process that has grounded operations at JKIA.

“The Kenya Airport Authority in collaboration with Kenya Airways had contingency plans to ensure a quick resumption of activity at the airport,” said Macharia.

Operations at JKIA, and Mombasa and Kisumu International Airports have been grounded since Tuesday night.

Macharia said about 30 screeners were involved in the what he calls an ‘illegal strike’ that affected 24 incoming flights Tuesday night and 2 outgoing flights Wednesday morning.

“I met with the Union officials and we agreed they will call off the strike, which they did,” said Macharia.

The Union had issued a strike notice to protest the proposed takeover of JKIA by Kenya Airways, which the Cabinet Secretary assured the Union that there will be no loss of jobs.

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“We even showed them how the numbers will go up if and when the deal goes ahead,” added Macharia.

He further claimed that about 30 aviation workers were at the forefront of the strike, terming their actions as ‘criminal’ and incited by a section of KAA management.

Macharia said stern action will be taken against the aviation workers involved in the illegal strike.

He assured that the first flight out of JKIA should be dispatched within the hour at about 11 a.m, Wednesday.

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