Nairobi News


Coronavirus: KQ sends workers on unpaid leave, CEO, top managers to take pay cut

Kenya Airways (KQ) on Saturday said that top managers including the airline’s Chief Executive Allan Kilavuka would take a pay cut while a majority of workers will proceed on leave as the coronavirus pandemic bites.

Kilavuka said he would take an 80 percent pay cut while top managers’ salaries would be slashed by 75 percent to cushion the firm from further losses in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

“My communication on March 17 regarding the 25 per cent pay cut for the Leadership Team and 35 per cent for myself has been superseded as the situation has evolved significantly and they will now be subjected to a 75 percent pay cut and I will get an 80 percent pay cut,” said Kilavuka.

The CEO also announced unpaid leave for a number of employees from April 1 until the situation changes for the better as the world battles the deadly virus.

“All employees who will not be required at work will take their annual leave with immediate effect,” he added.

Decision on layoffs had been stayed

“Beginning April 1, all employees at grade H06 and above will be on a week paid and three weeks’ unpaid leave while those at H05 and below will be on two weeks paid and two weeks’ unpaid leave.”

He said a decision on layoffs had been stayed.

“We are therefore not taking any decision on layoffs. Instead, we would like everybody to participate in taking a salary reduction and paid and unpaid leave,” the CEO said.

Kilavuka said the new measures were not punishments, but measures in response to the ongoing debacle and will change once the situation normalises and the firm is able to make a profit in the near future.

He added that the company has held discussions with the Unions and have agreed in principle on how best to cushion their staff. “Our engagements are still ongoing and will be concluded in the next few days.”

To help mitigate against the inevitable financial adjustments, the CEO said he had requested key banks and Saccos to extend a moratorium on loans employees may be servicing, covering their principal sum and interest for a period of 6 months.

The airline industry is facing its biggest crisis with several airlines on the brink of collapse after being forced to cancel services as travel demand dries up.