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Transport CS Murkomen thanks courts for ordering striking pilots to resume duty

Transport CS Kipchumba Murkomen. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

Transport CS Kipchumba Murkomen has responded to a court order that directed pilots on strike to resume duty.

In a statement, Murkomen said that the government welcomes the decision adding that the past four days have been difficult due to the strike.

He apologized to those affected by the strike while calling on the Kenya Airways (KQ) management to obey the court order barring them from victimizing those who participated in the strike.

“I urge our pilots to obey the court order and resume their duties,” he said.

He described KQ as an important national asset contributing two per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), through tax revenues and foreign exchange adding that the national government remains committed to its well-being.

According to Murkomen, a prolonged strike would have led to the closure of the airline since it was losing Sh300 million daily and would have affected 18,000 lives that depend on the airline.

He said that the strike had affected over 12,000 customers following the cancellation of over 300 flights, and had also affected 3,500 other employees who were not part of it.

“We acknowledge these employees’ sacrifices and patience in supporting the company’s recovery plans given the financial state of the airline following the devastating effect of Covid-19,” he said.

He said that the ministry is willing to assist to ensure that issues of concern are resolved adding that he will lead efforts to address the long-term issues that have made KQ a loss-making company.

“We must confront these challenges together, boldly and with utmost determination,” he added.