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Relief for travellers as KQ flights resume after pilots’ strike

By Wangu Kanuri November 6th, 2022 2 min read

Kenya Airways (KQ) has slowly resumed flights after a daylong pilots strike. According to the national carrier, Mombasa, Entebbe and Lusaka flights became operational as of Sunday 6th November.

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.


While reacting to the industrial action, Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen said the government was working round the clock to find a solution to the matter.

“We are willing to listen to the issues through the law. They should first stop the strike and come to the table and negotiate because that’s the law,” Murkomen said.

However, the Kenya Airline Pilots Association (Kalpa), General Secretary Murithi Nyaga, expressed disappointment after fruitless efforts to solve issues.

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

“We hoped that the management of the airline would soften its hard stance and engage in… negotiation on the issues raised. KQ management has not made any meaningful attempt to engage and have matters resolved,” he said.

The KQ CEO Allan Kilavuka lamented the losses the carrier had incurred as a result of the strike.

“We cannot understate the severe economic impact of this action on different sectors and the entire ecosystem reliant on KQ…It will cost KQ approximately Sh300 million a day and Sh2.1 billion a week,” Kilavuka said.

Also read: Kipchumba Murkomen seeks solutions to Kenya Airways pilots strike

Mr Kilavuka added that the union officials had neither used nor exhausted the dispute resolution mechanisms available to them as per the labour laws.
“It is also unfortunate that Kalpa has taken this action at a time when KQ is recovering from the covid-19 pandemic and is beginning to record improvement in its operations,” he said.

Initially, Kalpa had issued a 14-day strike notice on October 19, citing reasons that included ousting the board and executives for undisclosed governance and leadership issues, airline’s failure to implement pay agreements (CBA), alleged victimization of Kalpa members and non-payment of monthly pension contributions for staff.

Also read: Kenya Airways boss disappointed by pilots strike notice