Kenya Airways suspends international flights over coronavirus pandemic

Photo: Allan Kivaluka Kenya Airways CEO | Photo: Courtesy

March 23, 2020 (Nyamilepedia) — Kenya Airways announced the suspension of all international passenger flight services beginning Wednesday.

On Sunday, the Government of Kenya issued a directive that requires all incoming and outgoing international passenger traffic, to and from Kenya to cease from midnight on Wednesday.

“To comply with this directive, we have therefore temporarily suspended all international services effective midnight 25th March 2020, until further notice,” read a statement by the Kenya Airways newly confirmed Chief Executive Officer, Allan Kivaluka.

Kivaluka however said that Kenya Airways will continue cargo services to maintain supplies to Kenya and for emergency services.

In the meantime, all the domestic flights to Mombasa and Kisumu will remain operational.

The customers that were affected by the move were advised to postpone their travel plans or take exchange their booking for vouchers for future travel within twelve months.

This comes at a time when the airline made a tough decision to cut its employees normal salary as they maintain the services.

KQ employees will have to do with pay cuts of between 25 per cent and 50 per cent, depending on their level, with low cadre employees being handed a slight reprieve and taking the lower cuts while the middle level staff get the 50 per cent cut. Staff will also be required to take unpaid days off work.

With effect from April 1, 2020, all employees at grade H06 and above will be on a one week paid and three weeks’ unpaid leave. All employees at H05 and below will be on two weeks paid and two weeks’ unpaid leave,” he said.

“If you are required to be on duty, you will be on 25 per cent or 50 per cent pay subject to your grade.”

Management team will have to do with bigger pay cuts. The chief executive had last week said he would take a 35 per cent pay cut but in the email, he now says he will take an 80 per cent cut. Other members of leadership will be subject to a 75 per cent cut.

The chief executive, who has just been confirmed and is expected to take the reigns as substantive chief executive on April 1, announced a raft of measures to enable the airline continue operations. These include temporary pay cuts, with some of the employees staring at a 75 per cent reduction. Kilavuka will start his new job by taking an 80 per cent pay cut.

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