Kenya Airways (KQ) pilots yesterday pleaded with President Uhuru Kenyatta to save their jobs as the carrier embarked on a restructuring process that is expected to significantly reduce its workforce.
Through their lobby, Kenya Airline Pilots Association (Kalpa), the pilots termed the move to downsize the airline as shortsighted and instead said there was wisdom in a recent move to expand the airline’s operations, which was however disrupted by the outbreak of coronavirus.
In an open letter to the president, Kalpa said reducing the airline’s size could see the airline lose its space to competitors from the region as well as global carriers that ply local and regional routes. It also puts in jeopardy Kenya as a hub for air traffic.
“We acknowledge your government’s move to nationalise KQ as a demonstration of your commitment to safeguarding the value of the airline – not only as a foreign exchange earner but also its absolute significance to the horticulture, floriculture and tourism sectors,” said Kalpa General Secretary Murithi Nyagah.
He added that the airline was a key player in the country’s aviation sector, which contributed five per cent to Kenya’s GDP.