KALPA’s withdrawal of ‘goodwill’ causes flight delays for Kenya Airways



(Impression of the ordered B787 Dreamliner)

Suspicions of a politically inspired ‘pay back’ are rising as Kenya Airways is experiencing further flight delays, after KALPA, the Kenya Airline Pilots Association, has withdrawn the ‘Goodwill’ consent under which pilots voluntarily agree to be on call when off duty, should they be required to fly at short notice.

Some weeks ago did the Kenyan Prime Minister attempt to issue an archaic ‘directive’ to the airline over a staff rationalization exercise, only to find that acting as a puppet of radical trade unions was not backed up by law and lacked any legal foundation, subsequently ignored by the airline. It is understood that the inner circle of sycophants immediately swang into action, proposing to attain greater political influence on the board of the airline after the share rights offer earlier in the year resulting in a shift of shareholding proportion in favour of the Kenyan government. There have been murmurs that demonstrations of staff outside the company’s AGM venue, a slow go by cabin crew and now the more aggressive attitude by KALPA have been politically coordinated in an attempt to garner votes, irrespective of the material impact this will have on the airline’s reputation and ultimately bottom line.

A regular airline source understandably would not wish to be drawn into this ankle of looking at the present challenges. The airline’s CEO and Group Managing Director Dr. Titus Naikuni yesterday released a brief statement saying: ‘Kenya Airways pilots, acting under their union, the Kenya Airline Pilots Association (Kalpa), have withdrawn their goodwill with the management of Kenya Airways. The withdrawal of goodwill may cause some disruptions in flight schedules and some flights may have to be cancelled’.

Limited delays and flight cancellations were reported from Nairobi, affecting both long and short haul operations and talks between union and company officials have reportedly been scheduled for the weekend to try and seek a negotiated solution.

Airline staff, under the cover of anonymity, hiding behind obscure social network pages to conceal their identity, have also taken to less than civil language in trying to further their cause, signaling that the intended outcome justifies just about any means short of committing a crime. Watch this space for breaking and regular news updates from East Africa’s aviation scene.

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