Kenya Airways woes have taken a new twist as the airline is planning to reduce the number of flight routes due to shortage of pilots.
This comes as a result of the wrangles between the KQ management and the pilots’ union, proving a major crisis that has cost the Airline billions of revenues.
The airline has spent 118 million shillings to cater for the accommodation of passengers after flight delays and cancellations this year.
Some Pilots and other crew members have been boycotting work which has resulted to delay or cancellation of several flights.
The current number of pilots on duty is 435, 62 less than the required number of 497, prompting the airlines to operate below flight frequencies.
However, the Airline is planning to reverse the deficit by training new pilots and embark the company to normal operations.
The director of operations Paul Njoroge assured that the recruitment process is underway, where 44 pilots are undergoing training due to the current ongoing promotion policy.
“In order to bridge the pilot’s deficit, the airline has also announced plans to recruit 20 contracts captains on the Boeing 737 in compliance with the CBA provisions for a period of two years,”
“This system is ineffective and archaic, and it does contribute to the current shortages as on average nearly 10 percent of pilots are always on training thus making the total current shortage to be 106 pilots.” Said Mr. Njoroge in a letter addressing the Kenya Airlines Pilot Association (KALP) secretary-general and Chief executive Murithi Nyagah.
The management has put the blame on the Collective Bargaining Act CBA that allows pilots to be absent from work for at least 48 hours without explaining their whereabouts or providing any medical evidence.
The CBA also restricts the airline’s management from hiring any new flight crew or pilot forcing the company to operate with limited staff. The Act has been subject to abuse as the pilots have been overstaying even when they are required to report to work.