Connect with us

Business News

Ground handling company fights for lucrative JKIA space




Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi. The Kenya Airports Authority wants Aerotech to vacate the facility. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Kenya Aerotech Limited, a ground handling firm, risks losing space at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) come January 2019 over an alleged Sh5 million debt.

The Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) chief executive Jonny Andersen has written to Aerotech, asking it to vacate JKIA by January 31, 2019.

Mr Andersen advises the company that its licence will not be renewed.

“You are hereby notified that the authority shall not extend or renew the contract for any further periods upon expiry of the current term. In that regard, kindly vacate the premises granted by the authority by the mentioned date,” says Mr Andersen in the letter dated November 29.

This will bring to an end Aerotech’s three-year ground handling service at JKIA, having won the contract on October 7, 2015. It had received a six-month extension in September.

KAA has been having a Sh5 million dispute with Aerotech, with the latter claiming that KAA had no basis for asking for such an amount.

Aerotech is fighting off the claims in court, having filed a case in October.

It wants KAA temporarily restrained from locking it out of JKIA. It claims that on September 1, KAA blocked its employees from entering the airport premises and then disconnected electricity supply asking for Sh5 million debt.

“The plaintiff (Aerotech) has a running account with the defendant (KAA) and to date it has paid all its dues and the actions of the defendant are aimed at wreaking the business operations of the plaintiff—,” says Aerotech through its lawyers.

Aerotech claims that it cannot do any other business outside the airport since all its equipment are solely used for loading and offloading cargo from aircraft.

Its finance Manager Evanson Kamau Njuguna says he made a payment of Sh4 million to KAA in September after the firm was locked out.

However, he alleges KAA made a further claim of Sh5 million, which it paid in the same month promising to pay any outstanding amount were a joint financial reconciliation process to indicate so.

The firm says KAA was not justified to make a further claim of Sh5 million without documents to prove it.