Two Kenyan pilots and an engineer working with DAC Aviation (EA) LTD are crying for help after the employer abandoned them in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) with little support to sustain them.
The three, Captain Isaac Newton Wafula Ouma, First Officer Cornelius Ndeche Oluoch and Engineer Simon Peter Kuruga, are currently held up in a hotel in DRC over six months unpaid bills. They live on well-wishers handouts.
Captain Ouma told Kahawa Tungu that together with his colleague Oluoch they were deployed to DRC in October 2019 to work as Echo flights crew on behalf of DAC aviation. Engineer Kuruga joined them in December the same year.
However, the contract ended on March 20 this year and DAC aviation has abandoned them ever since and attempts to return home have proved futile.
The company has also not processed their salaries since February.
“We have been having intermittent support on food and transport which now leaves us with 72 days of meal allowance arrears and no company transportation,” captain Ouma said.
The three had leased a vehicle to help them move around Kalemie for supplies but have not able to pay the driver for months.
The driver took them to court over accrued debt for the service rendered but the company has declined to offset the debt.
Their aircraft — Cessna Caravan 208B EX model and Registration 5Y-DEA — is reportedly held by another entity as collateral.
Despite DRC resuming international flights on August 15, the crew claims DAC Aviation has not made any attempt to facilitate their flight back home.
DAC Aviation based at Wilson Aiport is affiliated to DAC Aviation of Canada.
The company was in February this year put on the spot by some of its employees over delayed salaries.
The employees claimed that they had not been paid their dues for four months despite the company despite making at least 10 flights a day.
“Nobody knows where the owner of the company is taking the money, ” the staffers intimated to a local news outlet.