Kenya Airways (KQ) is yet to fly out of trouble as it emerged that it 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.
An internal memo shows that the cancelled flights cost the ailing airline at least Ksh118 million in the last seven months of 2019, which was used in accommodation costs for affected passengers.
“During flight delayed or cancelled, Kenya Airways is expected to provide essential services such as accommodation, meals, ground transportation as the situation requires. With an increasing number of these incidents the costs of hotel accommodation and meals have been above budget by 250 percent,” read the confidential internal memo as quoted by Nation.
19,345 passengers were provided with accommodation in the first seven months of 2019, sinking KQ to more losses.
It is reported that pilots have been reluctant to report to work, since under the current CBA they can be absent for up to 48 hours without providing any medical evidence.
KQ’s OTP at 15 minutes in the seven months stood at 77 percent, a drop from 82 percent uring the same period last year.
“The main factor that have affected OTP include technical issues, crew constraint, ATC (air traffic congestion) in European destinations and radar failure in Nairobi,” said KQ CEO Sebastian Mikosz.
The airline has its hands tied, as it is difficult for them now to hire new pilots under the CBA.