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Kenya Airways May Loose Upto Ksh5.1 Billion Due to Pilot Shortage

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Kenya Airways which is riddled with corporate greed is now cutting down on flights due to pilot shortages it said in internal communication reported by Reuters on Tuesday.

In the first two weeks of last month, the airline cancelled 91 flights, of which 68 flights it claimed were due to pilot shortages, the airline says it will be forced to cancel more flights in the weeks ahead due to the shortages. Kenya Airways has 435 pilots against the required 497.

The company says it is seeking to recruit atleast 20 new pilots for its Boeing 737 jets on two-year contracts, givng existing pilots ample time off. Ten of the existing pilots will be promoted to the airline’s Boeing 787 fleet.

“The projected impact of the crew shortage is $50 million annually, which could have been avoided,” Kenya Airways has said.

The troubled national carrier frequent cancellations of the airline’s cargo freighter has led to cargo customers opting out, the report stated.

The Kenya Airline Pilots Association, many of whose membership is drawn from the airline were quick to point fingers at the carrier for not recruiting enough pilots on time.

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It is no secret that Kenya Airways has one of the lowest rates of pilot recruitment in the world,” Murithi Nyagah, the association’s secretary general, said in a statement issued on Tuesday.

The companies future looks even more doomed as this adds to its mounting debts and losses. Last month it reported a first-half pretax loss of 8.56 billion Kenyan shillings, more than double that seen in the same period of 2018. The carrier could be nationalised if the government adopts a recommendation made by Parliament.

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“Nationalisation is not what we want to be but it is what we need to be in order to be where we want to be,” said board chairman Michael Joseph Joseph who blamed taxes slapped on the national airline for its poor performance.

Nationalisation is expected to help cut costs to enable KQ grow revenues and make a turn around.


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