Kenya Airways risks paying Sh181 million in compensation to a former pilot dismissed over causing a 34-minute flight delay from Nairobi to Kisumu.
The pilot, Mr John Miriti Mbarire terms his sacking, which was also linked to using a wrong channel to request a sick leave, unfair.
During the alleged plane delay incident, the airline claims Mr Mbarire had refused to to take off, arguing that the plane would land in Kisumu at night.
However, according to KQ, the pilot had misinterpreted guidelines on night landings that define night as 15 minutes after sunset, and not before, as Mr Mbarire claimed.
He was then summoned to explain himself before the carrier disciplinary committee.
According to KQ, Mr Mbarire said that the pilot who had flown the plane last had reported mechanical problems.
This led to the airline’s decision to sack him in 2017.
Media reports indicate that at the time of his sacking, Mr Mbarire had completed 69 months of his flying career at KQ and had just remained with 5 years to retire.
Mr Mbarire is now seeking orders to have his former employer compelled to pay him his salary and allowances totaling Sh170.3 million for the five-year period, alongside damages of Sh11.3 million for unlawful dismissal.
In its defense KQ maintains that the officer was rightfully dismissed.
According to the carrier, Mr Mbarire was discourteous to his colleagues and in more than one instance had serious disagreements with the authority.
Further, the airline claims that the disciplinary committee set aside to preside over Mr Mbarire’s case was not convinced by his responses on the serious accusations leveled against him.