Aviation workers strike cripples traffic at JKIA


Hundreds of passengers are stranded at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport after flights were disrupted following a strike by aviation workers over a management row.

But within the past hour, Transportation Secretary James Macharia released a statement on Twitter saying the issue has been resolved and flights would resume before noon.

Kenya Airports Authority workers oppose a planned handover of airport operations to Kenya Airways. Workers say the plans will render most of them jobless.

The strike caught many passengers by surprise and has led to a crisis at one of Sub-Saharan Africa’s busiest airports.

KAA in a statement on Tuesday said the strike notice dated February 27 by the Kenya Aviation Workers Union stands suspended following the issuance of an order of injunction by the Employment and Labour Relations court on March 5.

“We wish to assure the general public of normal operations at all our Airports,” KAA tweeted.

In a statement, on Wednesday morning, Kenya Airways warned the public to expect disruptions on flights.

“Customers on flights after 11 am are advised not to come to the airport until further communication is shared. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience caused,” KQ tweeted.

KQ seeks to enter into a concession agreement with the Kenya Airports Authority to operate and maintain the airport.

Transport CS James Macharia on Monday dismissed claims that KQ operates planes owned by private individuals linked to the planned takeover.

The CS said KQ operates 40 planes –  20 are it’s own and the rest are leased.

Macharia said the airline has leased some of its aircraft to other airlines to address overcapacity and to optimise the use of its assets.

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