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Kenya Airways to fire some workers due to reduced operations

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 4- National carrier Kenya Airways plans to send home some of its workers even as it plans to resume domestic operations in the coming weeks.

The airline’s Chief Executive Officer Allan Kilavuka in a memo to staff said the layoffs and restructuring is due to reduced operations, owing to the suppressed demand of air transport.  

“With the suppressed demand for air transport, a large part of our fleet will remain grounded therefore a decision has been reached to carry out an organization wide rightizing exercise which will see a reduction of our network, assets and our staff,” Kilavuka said.

Kilavuka further added that some of the airline’s employees will also be forced to proceed on unpaid leave effective Monday as their services will not be needed under the new company’s strategy.  

“Further as we prepare for the anticipated resumption of domestic flight operations in Kenya, the projected depressed demand will require that we only keep the resources we will need for these operations,” read KQ’s CEO Allan Kilavuka memo to staff.

He pledged to ensure that the actions taken by the company will be conducted in a fair, respectful  and transparent manner.

Last week, KQ said it had lost in excess of Sh10 billion in revenue since January further predicting up to Sh50 billion loss by December in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Our estimates is that since January to date, we have probably lost around USD 100 million (Sh10 billion), when we estimate to the end of the year we will lose USD 400 million to 500 million (Sh40-50 billion),” Kilavuka told journalists after the Annual General Meeting held last week.

KQ posted a net loss of Sh12.98 billion for the year which ended December 2019, compared to the Sh7.558 billion loss posted a year earlier.

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The airline also saw its shares suspended yesterday from trading on the Nairobi Securities Exchange for three months, as the government moves to fast track the re-nationalization of the carrier.

This means that Kenya Airways will now be a full government entity once National Aviation Management Bill 2020 that was tabled in Parliament is accented under a new body, the Kenya Aviation Corporation.

It will include a new Kenya Airports Authority  and the Aviation Investment Corporation.

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