Kenya Airways has reportedly cancelled a dozen scheduled flights due to shortage of Pilots.
The Airline also revealed that more flights will be cancelled due to a slump in the number of available pilots which are estimated to be 106.
Paul Njoroge, Kenya Airways’ head of operation disclosed that the flight routes will be trimmed with the Airline planning to hire 20 pilots on contract.
Njoroge said, “in response to the crew shortage, we have unfortunately had to shrink the network to ensure that we deliver on our brand promise.”
The airline has been losing Sh5.18 billion (USD 50 million) annually as a result of the shortage of pilots.
The current number of pilots based on the fleets is 435 against a requirement of 497 pilots thus giving a deficit of 62 pilots.
Njoroge also said, “This system is ineffective and archaic, and it does contribute to the current shortages as on average nearly 10 per cent of pilots is always on training thus making the total current shortage to be 106 pilots.
“This situation has resulted in the airline losing colossal amounts of money not to mention customer’s goodwill. KQ management does not understand why good faith has been taken for granted and abused.”
According to reports, the airline had cancelled 91 flights in the first weeks of August while the management lately has had to call off 70 flights of the 91 due to crews calling in sick ahead of flights.
Also, the recent development has reportedly soured the relationship between the airline and the pilot’s union who fear their jobs might go to foreigners.
Muriithi Nyagah, the secretary-general of the union said, “We are not opposed to KQ hiring pilots but we just need to know where they are coming from, the qualifications and the returns, given that we have qualified Kenyans in KQ who qualify to be captains.”
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