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Struggling KQ to employ pilots on contract to curb flight delays, cancellations ▷ Kenya News



Cash-strapped flag carrier Kenya Airways (KQ) has opted to hire new pilots on contract basis and also abandon some routes in a bid to slam the brakes on loss-making due to flight cancellations.

The airline which has reportedly been losing about KSh 5 billion annually due to flight delays and cancellations now plans to hire more 20 pilots.

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Kenya Airways outgoing CEO Sebastian Mikosz (pictured) had in April 2019 indicated KQ pilots were overpaid and underutilised while explaining reasons why airlines was underperforming. Photo: Standard.
Source: UGC

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In yet another leaked memo sent to the pilots, Paul Njoroge, director of flight operations, warned the airline was at risk of losing thousands of customers to rivals due to the frequent flight cancellations which had become rampant in the past few months, leading to massive losses.

“In the next few weeks we shall be reducing the network to avoid further erosion of the brand due to the disruptions. This means the market share we have fought hard to win shall be eroded and winning this back will be much harder due to diminished customer confidence,” the memo read.

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As to which routes will be affected by the latest surprise move, KQ boss Sebastian Mikosz indicated the details will be communicated later.

The decision came a few days after a confidential document revealed KQ had in the recent months been facing a backlash over frequent flight delays and cancellations that not only inconvenienced customers but also cost the taxpayers money.

Kenya Airways recently came under scathing attack on social media with aggrieved customers expressing their rage over the inconveniencing delays and cancellations. Photo: KQ.
Source: Depositphotos

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The airline which ironically boasts of being the pride of Africa, reportedly cancelled over 50 flights in the month of August 2019 alone and delayed 40% of the flights this year, a situation that only served to worsen the carrier’s already unhealthy financial position.

The damning memo showed the national carrier cancelled a total of 182 flights in 2019 as a result of crew members and pilots failing to report to work.

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It recorded a KSh 7.55 billion net loss in the year ending December 2018 and the frequent flight cancellations, delays and shortage of staff were cited as the main contributing factors.

According to the document, accommodation costs hit KSh 118 million in the first seven months of 2019 as a result of flight cancellations.

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