Passengers Stranded as Kenya Airways’ Pilots Strike

NAIROBI (Reuters) -Kenya Airways on Saturday warned its placing pilots they might be dismissed if…

Passengers Stranded as Kenya Airways’ Pilots Strike

NAIROBI (Reuters) -Kenya Airways on Saturday warned its placing pilots they might be dismissed if they don’t return to work instantly as industrial motion led to the cancellation of dozens of flights and left hundreds of passengers stranded.

The pilots at one among Africa’s largest carriers downed instruments from 6 a.m native time on Saturday, affecting enterprise and leisure travellers at one among Africa’s most necessary aviation hubs.

In an inside memo to pilots seen by Reuters, the provider mentioned the strike was unlawful and requested pilots to return to obligation instantly.

“This (strike) has resulted in main inconvenience to our visitors and the ensuing losses. This motion is construed as collaborating and fascinating in an unlawful industrial motion,” the memo mentioned.

“Pilots not reporting on obligation…may have disobeyed lawful orders issued by administration and requires disciplinary motion, which can end in dismissal.”

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Earlier on Saturday the Kenya Airline Pilots Affiliation (KALPA) mentioned the provider’s administration had declined to hearken to their proposals on resolve their grievances.

“No KQ (Kenya Airways) plane has departed Jomo Kenyatta Worldwide Airport flown by a KALPA member from 6 a.m. this morning,” the union mentioned in a press release. “The strike is absolutely in drive.”

Kenya Airways apologised to passengers in a press release and mentioned it will do its greatest to minimise the inconvenience, which might embrace rebooking them onto various flights.

Earlier than the motion, the corporate had warned the strike might jeopardise its restoration from the pandemic, leading to losses of at the very least 300 million shillings ($2.5 million) a day.

“The pilots are throwing away the infant with the tub water,” Transport Minister Kipchumba Murkomen mentioned on privately-owned tv station NTV.

“It’s about 10,000 passengers affected to date and if the scenario continues like this, the impression on the opposite sectors of the economic system, tourism, will probably be extreme.”

Passengers on the airport instructed Reuters early on Saturday that the earlier evening was chaotic as individuals sought to journey earlier than the strike began. Lots of of passengers who had arrived in transit had been trapped contained in the airport as their connection flights did not take off, they mentioned.

The pilots union say they’re placing over a dispute on pensions contributions and settlement of deferred pay for its members.

(Reporting by Thomas Mukoya and Duncan Miriri; Writing by Akriti Sharma and Elias Biryabarema; Enhancing by William Mallard, Mark Potter and Christina Fincher)

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