Kenyan pilots held in DRC plead for help as employer, DAC Aviation abandons them

DAC Aviation-owned aircraft
DAC Aviation-owned aircraft. [Photo courtesy]

Two Kenyan pilots and an engineer have been held in the Democratic Republic of Congo after their employer, Wilson Airport-based DAC Aviation (EA) LTD allegedly abandoned them since March.

The pilots, Captain Isaac Newton Wafula Ouma, First Officer Cornelius Ndeche Oluoch and Eng Simon Peter Kuruga have been working in DRC as Echo flights crew since DAC Aviation had a contract there which ended in March.

Captain Ouma and First Officer Oluoch moved to DRC last year in October before Eng Kuruga joined them in December. They worked until March when their contract ended but have been stuck in a DRC hotel due to unpaid bills for six months.

In a protest letter, Captain Ouma says that they are now begging for handouts to buy food since their salaries stopped being processed from February, a month before their contract ended.

“We have been having intermittent support on food and transport which now leaves us with 72 days of meal allowance arrears and no company transportation,” captain Ouma said.

The three have also been taken to court for failing to pay for the services of a driver who had been driving them around Kalemie as they picked supplies for months. Ideally, transportation was supposed to be catered for by DAC Aviation which is their employer.

Further, Captain Ouma said that their aircraft a Cessna Caravan 208B EX model and Registration 5Y-DEA has also been held as collateral by a different entity.

Ouma added that their employer is yet to handle these issues yet international flights in DRC resumed on August 15.

DAC Aviation (EA) is linked to DAC Aviation Canada and has in the recent past come under scrutiny after its employees complained of delayed salaries running into months.

DAC Aviation (EA) was yet to respond to the allegations by the time of publishing this article.