National carrier Kenya Airways (KQ) is planning to fire at least 207 of its 414 pilots in the next three years in cost-cutting measures.
According to the cash strapped carrier, the pilots’ salaries amount to 45 percent of its payroll costs, despite pilots being only 10 percent of the workforce.
KQ expects that the move will save it Ksh3.24 billion every year. In the year ended December 2019, the company total wage bill to pilots only amounted to Ksh6.48 billion. This translated to Ksh1.3 million per pilot per month.
“Based on our three-year projection, we will require 50 percent to 60 percent of pilots to efficiently support the reduced operations,” KQ CEO Allan Kivaluka told Business Daily.
Read: Pilots Suspend Talks With KQ Over “Dishonesty In Management”
Business Daily reports that KQ has so far laid off some 650 employees, mostly trainee pilots, trainee cabin crew, technician trainees and newly hired staff on probation, and plans to shed 590 more jobs.
“Our target is to reduce the company’s overall total fixed costs, not just staff costs, by about 50 percent in response to our revenue projections,” added Kivaluka.
“We are reducing our network, our assets, and our people. The reduction will not be like for like, meaning that the shrinkage will not be uniform across the three areas.”
Managers at the airline, who account for 22 percent of the workforce take home 22 per cent of the payroll costs.
The airline sank into losses in 2014 after purchasing several aircraft in expansion move, and has been recording losses year-on-year since then.
The carrier recorded a Ksh13 billion loss for the year ended December 2019, from a loss of Ksh7.5 billion in 2018.
Email your news TIPS to email@example.com or WhatsApp +254708677607. You can also find us on Telegram through www.t.me/kahawatungu