Kenya Airways (KQ) has issued a redundancy notice over the harsh economic effects of COVID-19 pandemic.
In a letter to Kenya Airline Pilots Association (KALPA) CEO Captain Murithi Nyaga, the airline has plans to reduce operations before it starts to scale up operations, an exercise that could take up to 3 years.
According to KQ CEO Allan Kilavuka, the effects of COVID-19 have greatly impacted the aviation sector hence the need to carry out organisation-wide restructuring.
Mr Kivaluka, in the letter dated August 7 said that the national carrier board has approved the decision to carry out redundancy actions across the company network.
“We did an extensive internal review of our operations in May 2020 and are inevitably forced to carry out an organisation-wide restructuring. This will culminate with, among other things, a reduction in our network, our assets as well as our staff.
“Therefore, we write 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 process.”
Mr Kivaluka also noted that employees who will be let go will be accorded the respect and dignity that is required.
He also maintained that they will adhere to Labour Laws and Collective bargaining agreement (CBA).
Last month, reports indicated that the airline was on the verge of sacking 182 pilots and at least 400 cabin crew.
This move, KALPA said was ill-timed and inadvisable.
“As per your letter to KALPA, you have further indicated that you will not be able to cover the airline costs fully, including the already reduced salaries, and as such would want a majority of staff to proceed on unpaid leave. Now here begs the question; how is it that an organisation which has been struggling to cover direct costs, including reduced salaries since April 2020, now claim to be planning an expensive and costly staff rationalization exercise?” posed the pilots.
The association said its members would consider unpaid leave if it meant their jobs were secure.
Since the pandemic hit, KQ has sent over 100 employees packing including 22 pilots.
The redundancy process is expected to run through to September 30.