Kenya Airways Pilots Strike, Defy Court Order


Kenya Airways pilots defied a court order and agreement with management to stage a strike on Thursday.

The national carrier was forced to cancel flights across parts of the country and the African continent, despite obtaining a court order on Wednesday to bar its pilots from staging the walkout.


Pilots defy court order

Kenya Airways took to the courts on Wednesday following a 48-hour strike notice to the company’s management. The firm argued it was due a seven-day period of notice before any strike action could be carried out. The court then ruled Kenya Airways pilots would not be allowed to take any strike action before a hearing on May 9.

“An interim order is hereby granted restraining the respondents (KALPA), its members, agents, servants and or sympathisers from calling, participating or engaging in any form of industrial action including strikes on account of an alleged mismanagement of the claimant (KQ) or otherwise and/or on account of the ongoing restructuring process pending the hearing of the application interpartes,” the court ordered.

As the court was in session, pilots were in a meeting with Kenya Airways managers to discuss outstanding issues with the company. Both parties agreed to postpone any strike action until June 1, but a group of pilots ignored the agreement and court order to stage the strike as planned on Thursday.


Kenya Airways struggles highlighted

The Kenya Airline Pilots Association (KALPA) issued its strike notice on Tuesday, demanding the immediate resignation of Kenya Airways CEO Mbuvi Ngunze. The organisation accuses the executive director of mismanaging the country and worsening its financial position.

The national carrier has been relying on a cycle of debt to finance itself since plans to expand the firm globally fell through.

The airline has since criticised pilots who staged Thursday’s strike although it remains unclear what action will be taken against them.


Featured image:

By Alf van Beem – Own work, CC0,