Kenya Airways Plc’s (KQ) on Friday sent a letter to notify its pilots of a plan to lay off a number of them as it continues with a restructuring exercise expected to see a substantial number of the airline’s employees rendered jobless.
KQ Chief Executive Officer Allan Kilavuka in the letter addressed to Kenyan Pilots Association said the company has received the nod from its board to carry out layoffs after it reviewed its operations in May. “We write to you to inform you that following a thorough review, the Kenya Airways Board has approved the decision to carry out redundancy actions across the company network. This, therefore, is a formal notification that we will be commencing redundancy process across the business,” said Kilavuka.
“The scale of this challenge requires substantial change, so we are in a competitive and resilient position to address the impact of COVID-19 withstand any long-term reductions in customer demand and any other economic shocks,” reads Kilavuka’s statement to KALPA.
Earlier in July, the pilots had offered to go on unpaid leave if that would help secure jobs and cushion the airline from effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Pilots then sought the intervention of President Uhuru Kenyatta to save their jobs as the struggling airline continued to threaten jobs that serve up to 4000 families in the country.
Through their union, Kenya Airline Pilots Association (Kalpa), wrote an open letter to the President saying the downsizing would result in the country losing highly trained talent to foreign carriers.
“As opposed to issuing letters of redundancy in the midst of a pandemic — a move that will severely impact over 4,000 families who directly depend on KQ and the adverse net effect of the same, industry stakeholders have the opportunity to consultatively reposition the airline to strategically fill the gap left by the closure of Air Mauritius and South Africa Airways,” the letter signed by Kalpa General Secretary, Captain Murithi Nyagah, stated.
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