KQ pilots push for overhaul of airline’s board and management

KQ pilots push for overhaul of airline's board and management

Kenya Airways is still reeling from the impact of Covid-19 that keeps evolving, with the degree of recovery that the aviation industry has made in 2021 now threatened by the Omicron variant . [File, Standard] Kenya Airways ’ pilots are pushing for an overhaul of the carrier’s management and board of directors, arguing that the current leadership cannot turn around the airline.

The Kenya Airline Pilots Association (Kalpa) wants the board to be made up of professionals from industries that work directly with KQ.

In a proposed structure, the pilots’ lobby said board members should be drawn from players in related sectors such as the aviation industry, horticulture, travel and tourism. The sectors work directly with KQ on a daily basis.

This would be a departure from the current scenario where the investors dictate who sits on the carrier’s board, which Kalpa said has not had much success in recent years.

It has also proposed a re-look at the management structure. "A new leadership is needed, which has a different management style; people who will augur well with the employees on the ground and instil confidence that the Kenyan taxpayer needs to invest in the company," said Kalpa in a public notice.

"Post-Covid, the board should comprise aviation professionals and key relevant stakeholders other than investors." It noted: "A new organisational structure should be established with a direct emphasis on KQ’s core functions and revenue generation streams for the airline and country as a whole… qualified Kenyans should be given priority consideration. " The powerful pilots’ lobby has in the past been instrumental in the departure of senior officials from the airline, including a chief executive and a chairman. The association also wants improved relations between the airline’s leadership and employees, noting that the frosty relationship has affected work at the airline.

"The incoming leadership must rebuild the vibrant team spirit that was once there. Employee welfare is key. With the disregard of which largely affects employee morale, confidence, and loyalty, little can be achieved without passionate and patriotic employees," said Kalpa.

Kalpa said the airline could save huge amounts of money through a review of its procurement process. It noted that the carrier was on average paying "higher than the industry average" in many of the goods and services acquired from different suppliers.

It recommends getting rid of its Embraer fleet, mostly used by Jambojet for its local and regional flights. Instead, the lobby wants KQ […]

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