Kenya Airways Pilots Call Off Strike Saying Some Demands Met

Kenya Airways pilots, under the aegis of the Kenya Airline Pilots Association (KALPA) say they have called off their strike after the carrier met some of their demands, and resumed work on Friday.

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Kenya Airways pilots, under the aegis of the Kenya Airline Pilots Association (KALPA) say they have called off their strike after the carrier met some of their demands, and resumed work on Friday.

KALPA’s members took the industrial action earlier on Thursday to push for the removal of the airline’s chief executive, prompting Kenya Airways to cancel all but two of its evening flights up to 2300 GMT.

KALPA General Secretary Paul Gichinga said the airline had made some management changes that met the pilots’ minimum demands, without giving more details.

The pilots had taken the action despite an agreement reached a day earlier to defer the strike until June 1. The strike lasted from midday until late on Thursday, but for practical reasons full flights will resume on Friday.

Kenya Airways, which is one of the largest carriers in Africa and ferries 10,000 passengers a day with a fleet of Boeing and Embraer jets, had already cancelled 10 other flights.

Pilots oppose Chief Executive Mbuvi Ngunze’s planned measures to turn around the loss-making carrier, which is 26.7 percent owned by Air France KLM, and have demanded his immediate resignation.

The association said they would operate as normal while talks continue until June 1 over the rest of their demands.

KALPA had issued a two-day notice to the carrier on Tuesday saying its members would stop flying planes until Ngunze resigned over what it called “questionable” turnaround measures.

The airline has been selling assets, including planes, and plans to lay off 600 people as it tries to stay in operation after three and a half years of financial losses.

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