Join the queue comes to mind when news emerged in Nairobi overnight that Lufthansa Technik has sued Fly 540 over an unpaid bill for the repair of an aircraft engine. The suit was brought before the High Court in Nairobi, where another suit over allegedly unpaid fuel bills is also pending, spelling more troubles yet for the low cost airline which seems to attract such controversies in fair measure. Lufthansa Technik is demanding a major multimillion Kenya Shillings settlement for work carried out on an aircraft engine, which while being opened up emerged to be in much worse of a shape than initially thought, requiring significant extra work, something Fly 540 now disputes while accusing Lufthansa Technik to have exaggerated the repair cost. A provisional court hearing date has been set for October 19th according to information availed from a regular aviation source in Nairobi, where the industry continues to watch closely everything to do with Fly 540, in particular after the airlines runway incident a day earlier in Eldoret.
This latest controversy will do little to strengthen market confidence for the carrier which in the past has been plagued by a number of operational challenges with flight delays, and at least one court case being cited as a reason for the holdup of the completion of a share transfer from Lonrho to Rubicon Diversified, aimed to rebrand the airline as FastJet, reposition it in the market and introduce a number of new aircraft. Make sure you watch this space as the Fly 540 saga continues to rage on.