Kenya Airways pilots plan Thursday strike

Kenya Airways Boeing 777-200ER (5Y-KYZ) taking off from London Heathrow Airport. Photo: Adrian Pingstone (Phone used under the Creative Commons licence)

Kenya Airways pilots have threatened to go on strike this Thursday (28 April) in an attempt to force Chief Executive Officer Mbuvi Ngunze to resign. who is implementing a reorganization that will result in at least 600 job losses, to resign.

The Kenya Airline Pilots Association (KALPA) wants Ngunze to resign after the company posted a record loss last year. They also believe his turnaround plan, which could result in at least 600 job losses, is destined to fail.

“It is Kalpa’s position that definitive action has to be taken, once and for all, to steer Kenya Airways in the right direction. We reaffirm the Kalpa membership vote of no confidence in the Kenya Airways CEO, Mbuvi Ngunze, and call for his immediate resignation.” – KALPA statement

Kenya Airways is sub-Saharan Africa’s third-biggest carrier. The planned job cuts and fleet size reduction by a third is an attempt to reverse a Ksh25.7 billion annual loss which the company reported in July.

The reorganisation plan was developed by McKinsey & Co. and in February, PJT Partners Inc. were appointed by the airline to advise on how to restructure the company’s balance sheet and raise long-term financing.

“In 2012, a similar exercise was conducted by the same management team. Needless to say, the staff rationalisation exercise didn’t change the company’s trajectory.” – KALPA statement

According to a statement released by Kenya Airways last week, the company operates a fleet of 36 aircraft and flies 4 million passengers a year to 53 destinations worldwide, 10 of them outside Africa.