Kenya Airways struggles to stay afloat; plans to slash salaries again

Kenya Airways often referred to as KQ, is expected to cut the salaries of its workers by up to 30% due to the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on the airline.

The management informed staff of the airline in a memo dated January 14, 2021,

This is coming about 10 months after KQ initially slashed the salaries of top managers. The airline reduced the salaries of senior managers by 24%, top executives now earn less than Sh200 million annually. Meanwhile, the company’s directors were asked to work for free.

The memo indicated that the pay cut will be effective from this month and will affect workers earning 45,000 Kenyan Shilling and above. The staff of the airline was told to expect between 5% and 30% cut in their salaries for between six to 12 months. The memo added that the pay variation would also be reviewed quarterly.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Kenya Airways, Allan Kilavuka, added that the employees whose salaries have been deferred since April 2020 will not be paid.

“I must stress that we cannot pay these amounts, and further, we do not have a timeline when payment will be possible. Should our financial and ability to pay to improve significantly, we will redeem the differed amounts,” Business Daily quoted Kilavuka to have said in the memo.

“Our proposal, however, is that, as soon as we get a sustainable cash injection that can cover our overdues, we will, at that time, commence discussions on the payment of the deferred salaries. Similarly, should our financial situation and ability to pay to improve significantly, we will redeem the deferred amounts.”

Kenya Airways has been struggling since it resumed partial operations after the lockdown and border restrictions in Kenya and other countries were eased.

Even though the airline has resumed flights it is yet to begin flying to some of its key routes and destinations.

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