Kenya Airways announces second round of 30% pay cut for staff

Kenya Airways Crew in the past. [Photo: Capital FM]

Kenya’s national carrier, Kenya Airways has announced the second round of a 30 per cent pay cut for its employees to cushion the airline from continued financial crisis caused by COVID-19.

KQ management in the renewed pay cut push will have those earning more than Ksh45,000 get a minimum pay cut of 5 per cent.

Staff earning less than Ksh44,999 will be exempted from the pay cut.

“The local currency amounts will be converted and fixed at the appropriate exchange rates for outstation staff. We will seek consent appropriately for the variation of pay,” KQ CEO Allan Kilavuka says in communique’ seen by the Star.

“HR will provide more information on the proposed pay variation and pay ranges during the planned staff and social partner/union engagements in the coming few days,” he adds.

Kilavuka said that he is upbeat pay cuts will help the airline withstand the harsh economic times it is currently operating in.

KQ’s losses have been caused by among other things, the ongoing lockdown in the UK after a deadly second wave of COVID-19.

London is one of KQ’s popular routes in Europe.

France which went on lockdown in December last year also affected the airline’s revenues as flights were suspended due to low passenger demand.

When the pandemic struck, senior managers got a 25 per cent pay cut.

The pay model for pilots also changed. They would be paid per flight to cut costs for the airline. Most of them took home a meagre 25 per cent of their previous earnings.

Kilavuka said that he has been open about the financial strain of the airlines but a move to scale down on salaries has been resisted different players in government.

“I have previously communicated that the company has been struggling to meet its financial obligations. We owe our service providers and you, our employees, significant amounts. Our financiers and the government of Kenya are also challenging the deferred pay arrangement as it is unsustainable,” Kilavuka notes.

With Ksh2 billion funding by the State to help keep operations afloat, KQ is optimistic of a better year in travel.

However, reports of a new variant of coronavirus is a cause for alarm, Kilavuka added.

With the rapid spread of new cases from the variant, international travels hang in the balance.