The parliamentary Transport Committee has faulted the planned Jomo Kenyatta Inertanationl Airport takeover by Kenya Airways and has linked it to the strike by the aviation workers, that disrupted flights and operations at JKIA. Hundreds of passengers were stranded on Wednesday as the Kenya Aviation Workers Union (KAWU) members went on strike, with airports around the country affected and more than 70 percent international flights also affected. The workers cited poor remuneration, unfair staff hiring and the big deal being discussed at the moment-the Kenya Airways takeover of JKIA.
The deal has caused anxiety among Kenyans, with the airline seeking to run the airport in an agreement with the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA). Speaking to the press, Pokot South MP David Pkossing, who is also the chairman of the Transport Committee poked holes into the KQ/JKIA takeover deal, “Why is KQ, a loss-making institution taking over a profit making institution like KAA?” he posed, adding that the deal is shrouded in secrecy. He said as a committee, they’ve noted that the strike is because the Ministry of Transport and the management of KAA have refused to engage their primary customers who are the workers of the institution.
Pkossing added that they’ve already written a letter, and a report is to be submitted to parliament by next week containing the structure and the payment of every employee of KQ. Workers form KQ and the Kenya Air Force stepped in on Wednesday to replace the striking workers at the facility as the government sought to restore services and by Wednesday evening, the airline had reopened routes with flights to destinations such as Johannesburg, London, Dubai among others. On Thursday, services at JKIA resumed but at a notable slow pace.