KQ pilots accuse management of sabotage

    Kenya Airways (KQ) pilots represented by the Kenya Airline Pilots Association (KALPA) have accused the carrier’s management of sabotaging recovery efforts.

    In a letter addressed to Group Chief Executive Officer Allan Kilavuka, the pilots’ state management has onboarded counterproductive managerial practices impacting on the airline’s efforts to navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic negatively.

    “We would like to draw your attention to our growing concerns over some what believe are management practices that are negatively impacting the airline,” the pilots said in the letter undersigned by KALPA General Secretary Capt. Murithi Nyagah.

    “Its unfortunate to report that the picture now emerging is that of an airline keen in sabotaging itself under the guise of COVID-19.

    The pilots have tore through managerial decisions to close KQ sales offices across the country, a decision they say has dwindled ticket sales.

    Further, the pilots have pointed to the gross understaffing of the airlines customer-service call centre and a significant reduction of flight operations.

    Moreover, KALPA has pointed out public comments over a worrisome customer experience while using the airline’s services and what they term as a subsequent lethargic response to the complaints.

    “It is our position that as the airline strives to adjust to the new normal, KQ has the capacity to achieve a steady revenue stream from both passenger and cargo business with an efficient management team. It is indeed a shame for the national carrier to constantly beg for funding from the government from the government whilst the opportunities to increase our revenues are available,” the pilots retaliated.

    The new accusations sprout as KQ nears re-nationalization with the National Aviation Management Bill having just closed for a second round of public participation in the past month.

    KQ operations have continued to be starved off by the global pandemic which has significantly reduced the demand for air passenger traffic.

    In August, the airline announced a near double loss expansion as its half year loss deepened by 66 per cent to Ksh.14.3 billion from Ksh.8.6 billion in 2019.

    The performance was on the back of a 48 per cent revenue slide to Ksh.30.2 billion with passenger flights having been frozen in the second quarter of the year.

    KQ has continued to battle falling flight load factors even after the resumption of international passenger flights on August one.

    Kenya Airways resumes its direct flights to the US this Saturday.