Kenya Airways pilots defer strike after court order

Kenya Airways pilots defer strike after court order

Kenya Airways secured a court order on Wednesday stopping a strike due to start on Thursday by pilots calling for the airline’s chief executive to quit.

The airline and the Kenya Airline Pilots Association (KALPA) then issued a joint statement, following a meeting with a government sub-committee, saying the pilots union had agreed to defer its strike notice until June 1.Kenya-AIrways

KALPA issued a two-day notice to the carrier on Tuesday saying its members would stop flying planes until Kenya Airways Chief Executive Mbuvi Ngunze resigned over what it called “questionable” turnaround measures.

Kenya Airways, which is 26.7 percent owned by Air France-KLM , is one of the largest carriers in Africa, ferrying 10,000 passengers a day with a fleet of Boeing and Embraer jets.

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But the carrier has been selling assets, including planes, and plans to lay off 600 people as it tries keep flying after three and a half year of financial losses.

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In a ruling earlier on Wednesday, the employment and labour relations court in Nairobi blocked KALPA from “calling, participating or engaging in any form of industrial action including strikes” and set a hearing for the dispute on May 9.

The joint KALPA and Kenya Airways statement said they had agreed to hold consultations on issues they did not specify, with the aim of completing them by June 1. (Editing by George Obulutsa and David Clarke)

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