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January 17, 2019

KQ, union locked in talks ahead of Sunday’s historic NY flight

KQ flight at Moi Airport Mombasa
KQ flight at Moi Airport Mombasa

Kenya Aviation Workers Union yesterday met Kenya Airways management to resolve pending issues ahead of Sunday’s maiden flight to New York.

This is after Statehouse instructed on Tuesday that KQ quickly resolves its outstanding issues with the workers and give an assurance that the flight will not be disrupted.

The union had on Monday put across conditions that the airline must meet before they give their members the go ahead to participate in the Boeing 787 takeoff.

Part of the set conditions include a flight time allowance of between 17 and 21 hours and not to be assigned duties for more than 15 hours.

In line with the International Standards, the unionists want the cabin crew to be paid Sh20,000 allowances per hour exceeded up to a maximum of 21 hours duty period.

However, KQ has offered to pay the crew Sh5,000 per hour. Transport Cabinet secretary James Macharia said despite the boycott threat, the flight will take place as planned.

“Whereas a few of them may want to raise the issue of the strike, I can assure you the engagement has been positive and we are sure the flight will take off,” Macharia said after a meeting with the union officials.

The government is banking on direct flights to boost horticulture and receive more than 120,000 tourists from the US up from the current 97,000.

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