The turbulence at Kenya Airways (KQ) is yet to phase out, as pilots have slammed the door on collective bargaining agreement (CBA) talks.
According to the Kenya Airline Pilots Association (Kalpa), the parties differed on the mode to be used to address pilot shortage at KQ, as Kalpa accused KQ of dishonesty.
“The association hereby suspends participation in CBA negotiations due to gross violations of the CBA and the lack of goodwill thereof from management,” said Kalpa General-Secretary Captain Murithi Nyagah in a letter to KQ.
Following the suspension, Kalpa filed a suit in court, seeking to declare a trade dispute at the Ministry of Labour.
“CBA negotiations will remain suspended untill such a time we feel we are engaging in a fair and honest industrial climate. To this end the executivecouncil is left with no choice but to declare a trade dispute at the Ministry of Labour,” added the letter.
In April, it was reported that at least 130 pilots left KQ to Middle East airlines in just one year for greener pastures, leaving the carrier with 430 pilots, a deficit of 200 pilots.
According to Nyaga, pilots flying the Boeing earn a gross salary of Ksh483,350 while those flying Embraer earn Ksh407,916. Captains get a house allowance of Ksh36,000 while first officers get Ksh30,814 for the same.
The shortage has seen the airline suspend some of its routes, delay flights and cancel others even as loss making persists.
KQ cancelled a total of 52 flights in the first 18 days of August, and delayed at least 40 percent of the successful flights in the first seven months of 2019.
The reports surfaced after a member of the first family was affected in one of the flights in Paris, forcing the government to seek explanation.
According to the 2019 on time performance, 182 flights were cancelled this year occasioned by shortage of staffers with pilots and other crew failing to turn up for work. Out of 25,035 successful departures this year, 2,814 were delayed by more than an hour while only 22,426 (60 percent) were on time.