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Kenya Airways hiring pilots amidst ongoing strike

By Wangu Kanuri November 7th, 2022 2 min read

Kenya Airways has announced that it is recruiting pilots, a move that could lead to the sacking of pilots who have failed to resume their duties a day after they were instructed to do so.

At the same time, Tom Shivo, the airline’s Chief People Officer has advised all staff to return terming the strike as an illegal industrial action.

“We are looking for a qualified person to join our team for the position of pilot- first officer,” the national carrier said.

Mr Shivo further said pilots who will not report on duty will have defied court orders, meaning they will be guilty of contempt.

Also read: Amber Ray’s outrage over KQ’s intention to refund her 15k out of 340k paid for flight tickets

“They will have disobeyed lawful orders issued by management and calls for disciplinary action which may result in dismissal,” he said.

On Saturday, about 65 flights and 10000 passengers were affected on day one of strike as the pilots made good threats to down their tools in a row over deferred salaries and pension contributions.

As a result, 53 flights were cancelled or delayed this resulting in major inconveniences to guests and the consequent losses. KQ said that it would cost it approximately Sh300 million a day. In a week, this translates to Sh2.1 billion.

Also read: Relief for travellers as KQ flights resume after pilots’ strike

Consequently, the government has threatened to take action against the pilot amid the stand off. However, Captain Murithi Nyagah the Kenya Airline Pilots Association (KALPA) CEO said the pilots remain unmoved by the threats and asked KQ to first meet them before workers resume duties.

“KQ management has made it clear that they will not meet until our members resume their duties. This is contrary to the spirit of negotiation… management’s ego and chest-thumping is to the detriment of Kenyans at large,” Captain Nyagah said.

“We have not asked for improved terms of service. We only demand that Kenya Airways honors agreement that is already in place,” he added.

Also read: KQ orders all striking pilots to report back to work