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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

KQ starts second phase of massive staff layoff s

Kenya Airways Chief Executive Officer Mbuvi Ngunze and new chairman Michael Joseph during a media briefing, November 4, 2016. /ENOS TECHE
Kenya Airways Chief Executive Officer Mbuvi Ngunze and new chairman Michael Joseph during a media briefing, November 4, 2016. /ENOS TECHE

Kenya Airways has started the second phase of retrenchment in an ongoing right-sizing exercise targeting to cut its payroll by Sh2 billion annually and return the troubled airline to profitability.

KQ, owned 29.8 per cent by the state, announced yesterday it will sack 38 staff in the second phase.

This brings to 118 the number of employees sent home in the ongoing programme under the turnaround strategy Operation Pride.

The loss-making airline issued a notice on March 31, last year “to right size through staff redundancies and redeployment”.

“After implementation of phase one of the restructuring process, we continued looking for opportunities for productivity and efficiency gains as well as upskilling within the business,” outgoing chief executive Mbuvi Ngunze said yesterday.

“After a lot of consultation the next phase of the process is now ready to be rolled out. There is never a perfect timing for such actions, and we will ensure that the process is handled within the values of our airline.”

Under the revival strategy, the airline is set to send home about 600 staff in a bid to streamline operations, adding to the 400 who were laid off four years ago.

KQ chairman Michael Joseph last week briefed President Uhuru Kenyatta on the plan at State House Mombasa.

The former Safaricom CEO was elected to head the KQ board on October 26 last year and he will oversee the recovery strategy.

The strategy aims at bringing the airline back to profitability, adopt a new business model and optimise the capital structure of the loss-making airline.

KQ said the recovery plan is bearing fruits with six-month loss to September 2016 having been cut by Sh7.17 billion or 60 per cent to Sh4.78 billion.

Joseph said the management is aware this is a difficult period for Kenya Airways and help will be given to affected staff.

“The process is in full compliance with labour law, Collective Bargaining Agreements and individual staff members’ contracts as appropriate,” Kenya Airways said in a statement.

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