Nairobi News


City pilot who refused to fly plane demands Sh181m for unfair sacking

Kenya Airways’ decision to sack a pilot who refused to fly a plane has come back to haunt the national carrier, which now risks paying Mr John Miriti Mbarire Sh181 million for unfair sacking.

Mr Mbarire’s contract was terminated for causing a 34-minute delay on a flight from Nairobi to Kisumu in 2017, and for allegedly using the wrong channel to request a sick-off.

KQ also argues that Mr Mbarire was discourteous to his colleagues.


The pilot was at the time five years from retirement, and now wants the national airline ordered to pay his salary and allowances totalling Sh170.3 million for those years, alongside damages of Sh11.3 million for unlawful dismissal.

Had he completed the last 69 months of his flying career at KQ, Mr Mbarire would have earned Sh65.2 million in salary, Sh95.9 million in flying allowances, Sh6.2 million in insurance cover for him and his family, and travel allowances totalling Sh3 million.

In its defence, the national carrier insists that Mr Mbarire had a history of run-ins with authority and that his responses were not considered to be sufficient by a panel that presided over his disciplinary hearings.


KQ insists that it rightfully dismissed Mr Mbarire.

The airline adds that Mr Mbarire had also refused to take off, arguing that the plane would land in Kisumu at night.

KQ holds that Mr Mbarire misinterpreted guidelines on night landings that define night as 15 minutes after sunset, and not before, as the pilot claimed.

Five days later Mr Mbarire was served with a notice to show cause why he should not be disciplined.

He said the pilot who last flew the aircraft had mentioned some mechanical problems.