By Luke Anami
International flights resumed on Sunday following the signing of an agreement between Kenya Airways and Pilots association that allows pilots to work for more than the required legal period of 12 hours.
Pilots usually report three hours before a flight thereby working up to 15 hours, three more hours than their legal requirement, which is technically referred to as ‘goodwill’.
Goodwill is when pilots are voluntarily available to work for certain hours during off time but within legal limits as approved by the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA).
But two days ago the Kenya Airlines Pilots Association (KALPA) withdrew the Goodwill which meant international flights had to be cancelled as their reporting time to work was restricted to within 12 hours.
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But on Sunday morning, Kenya airways pilots under their union, KALPA reinstated goodwill with immediate effect, with the management of Kenya airways after consultations and agreement on the dispute on interpretation of some operating procedures.
"With the goodwill reinstated by KALPA, we are now working expeditiously to ensure normal services resume and expect all scheduled flights today to be crewed for operations," Titus Naikuni Chief Executive Officer KQ said.
"The Management of Kenya Airways therefore wishes to reassure our customers, stakeholders and the public at large that the airline is working to ensure that normal operations resumes immediately and sincerely apologize to all the affected passengers.”
The withdrawal of goodwill came on the backdrop of the on-going Collective Bargain Agreement (CBA) negotiations between the union and the management.
Due to the shortage of pilots in the country, Kenya Airways has traditionally negotiated an agreement with KALPA that requires its members to be voluntarily available to work for certain hours during off time, which is known as goodwill,
The standoff has been caused by a misinterpretation of the rules on working procedures leading to the current disagreement between the Union and Kenya Airways management.