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Kenya Airways CEO Allan Kilavuka takes 35 per cent pay cut

By Dominic Omondi | March 19th 2020

Kenya Airways (KQ) Chief Executive Allan Kilavuka has taken a 35 per cent pay cut as the coronavirus pandemic continues to hit the national carrier’s bottom-line.

In what is aimed at helping the cash-strapped airline stay afloat, the airline’s board members also agreed to forego their monthly fees and sitting allowances following a global pandemic that has seen the national carrier suspend its flights to a number of countries.

Mr Kilavuka (pictured), who was confirmed to the position on February 27, yesterday agreed to forfeit a third of his salary as KQ struggles to fly through the headwinds that have been thrown its way by the coronavirus.

So far, there have been seven confirmed cases of the virus in Kenya. Globally more than 7,000 people have succumbed to the novel coronavirus, even as many countries have shut down all but essential services.

The pandemic has hit the local aviation industry hard following the government ban on airlines flying in from countries that have reported coronavirus cases.

Sources at KQ, however, said the employees’ payroll was not touched, but the management was monitoring the situation and should things get worse, some of the workers might be put on the chopping board.

The airline on Wednesday also said the board agreed to forego monthly fees and allowances with effect from April 1.

Others that will do with less cash in their bank accounts include the executive committee members, who have also agreed to take a 25 per cent pay cut from the same date.

KQ also announced a reduction of flights on some routes to add to those suspended earlier.

A statement from the carrier’s corporate communications department said two weekly flights each on the London and Paris routes will be suspended from March 25 to April 16.

“These changes are necessary to ensure optimal and efficient operations and the airline will continue to make adjustments as the situation demands,” said the statement.

KQ has already cancelled a number of flights to major hubs including Guangzou, China, where small traders go to buy manufactured goods that can be flown in cargo planes. China is where the virus was first reported.

The airline also suspended flights on the Rome-Geneva route on March 12 as Italy continues to bear the brunt of the pandemic. After China, Italy has the next highest number of confirmed cases.

Other routes that have been suspended include Geneva, Bangkok, Djibouti and Khartoum.

The cancellations are likely to aggravate the carrier’s cash flow problems.

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