The Kenya Airline Pilots Association (KALPA) called out the Kenya Airways (KQ) management over claims of putting at risk the lives of their flight crew amid coronavirus scare.
In a statement dated March 24, Kalpa CEO Captain Murithi Nyagah said the national carrier was still using its crew members who were under mandatory quarantine at government facilities.
This, Capt Muriithi said, exposed other staff members and passengers as well as the various cities and countries the flights operate to.
“In as much as it is argued that the crew are not symptomatic, it is a fact that their status is unknown, thus raising a serious health risk and breach in medical protocol,” he said.
“It is extremely reckless and irresponsible for the airline to assign flight duties to crew who are in self-quarantine without knowing their status.”
He further noted that accompanying engineers are not proceeding with their respective crew to quarantine facilities upon arrival of flights.
Hence, he urged KQ management to cease utilizing crew on mandatory quarantine as well as test all crew who have operated flights – local and international – in the last three weeks from the date of the letter.
Last week, a KQ pilot who flew the last flight from New York on March 24 succumbed to COVID-19.
Captain Daudi Kibati was buried on Saturday at his ancestral home.
He had before evacuating Kenyans willing to come back home before the government closed the airspace, flown to Rome, Italy.
“Captain Kibati managed to evacuate many Kenyans and non-Kenyans from the United States back to the county but only for him to succumb to the same disease,” said Mutahi Kagwe, Kenya’s Health Cabinet Secretary.
“He paid the last price.”