Passengers stranded as Kenya Airways pilots go on strike

 Promise Eze

Kenya Airways canceled flights on Monday as the pilots’ strike entered its third day leaving many travelers stranded.

In reaction, the government has threatened disciplinary action if the airline staff do not return to work.

The pilots launched the strike at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on Saturday, disobeying a court order against the strike.

“Due to the ongoing unlawful industrial action by Kenya Airline Pilots Association (KALPA), most of our flights have been cancelled,” Kenya Airlines said in a statement.

On Sunday, Transport Minister Kipchumba Murkomen instructed the pilots to return to work, terming the strike as “illegal” and an act of “economic sabotage.”

“Considering the defiance of KALPA and their total disregard for the existing court order – which is at the heart of the rule of law – the Ministry of Labour now has to activate the procedures governing industrial relations,” Mr Murkomen said. 

The carrier said 56 flights were cancelled because of the strike, disrupting 12,000 passengers’ plans.

The pilots, who make up 10 per cent of the workforce, are pushing for the reinstatement of contributions to a provident fund and payment of all salaries stopped during the COVID-19 pandemic.


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