British travellers were among hundreds of passengers left stranded following a strike by members of the Kenya Aviation Workers Union at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport yesterday.
Police dispersed striking workers who attempted to protest at the Nairobi airport with the military taking over screening and security services, while the British High Commission updated travel advice in the wake of the industrial action.
In a statement, the union said the strike was over the proposed takeover of the Kenya Airport Authority, that runs airports, by the country’s loss-making airline, Kenya Airways. It demanded both the removal of the top management of Kenya Airways and the Kenya Airports Authority.
According to Kenya Airways Managing Director Sebastian Mikosz, the strike resulted in the delay of 24 flights with two diverted elsewhere.
Among the Britons caught up in the disruption was CTO & Customer Advocacy, Emerging EMEA at Hitachi Vantara Ltd, Steve Lewis, who described the situation as “outrageous”.
“The baggage handlers are on strike and we’ve been told by Kenya Airlines that we cannot have our luggage back until the strike is called off,” he said, adding that there was no sign of any senior managers.