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KQ starts production of face masks

Kenya Airways (KQ) has rolled out mass production of protective face masks for their crew and family to aid in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

The airline targets to make more than 1,000 face masks per day from unused materials from its stores, KQ Managing Director and CEO Allan Kilavuka said in a statement.

Kilavuka said this initiative is in support of the government’s efforts to contain the transmission of the infection in the country.

He added that the protective materials would be given to the airline’s employees, their families as well as different communities.

“Working with our different partners, we will identify the areas where the masks will be most needed to ensure we meet that gap,” said Kilavuka.

He said that their priority even during these challenging times remains the health and safety of the customers, staff, and the communities with which they operate in.

Under this initiative, workers will be deployed on a six-hour shift with each producing 80 masks a day.

“I applaud the Sustainability and Technical team for their efforts in making this possible. It is in unprecedented times like this when we need to think differently and our teams continue to demonstrate this even in the midst of adversity,” Kilavuka added.

The masks are being made by their technical department that also includes a workshop that produces all the upholstery aboard their planes.

This team is now producing certified face masks from repurposed and recycled materials from their stores, said the airline.

Last month, the national flag carrier announced sweeping flight cancellations as countries across the globe closed their borders in a bid to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

The CEO had earlier also said that he would be taking an 80 per cent pay cut to help offset the economic impact of the move with all other staff taking between 25 and 75 per cent pay cut during the suspension.