Bluebird Aviation, a regional Kenya-based airline, has expressed interest in helping passengers affected by strike action launched by Kenya Airways (KQ) pilots.
“We are ready to take in passengers on a charter flight basis. We welcome all passengers currently stranded in various airports to come and savor our unrivaled experience with more customized services,” Bluebird Aviation general manager Hussein Mohammed is cited as saying by Kenyan news outlet Tuko.
Hussein Mohammed added that while other small operators have seen an increase in enquiries and bookings, it is ready to offer passengers charter flights.
Strike action: what’s happening at Kenya Airlines?
Kenya Airways operations have been significantly disrupted by the ongoing pilots’ strike which started on November 5, 2022. The walkout resulted in major flight cancelations from the airline’s main base at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO) in Nairobi.
The Kenya Airline Pilots Association (KALPA), which represents the interests of the striking pilots, has criticized the airline for halting payments to a staff provident fund, harassing staff, and breaching civil aviation regulations.
Kenya Airways’ chief executive Allan Kilavuka estimated that the ongoing industrial action will cost the carrier at least $2.5 million (KES300 million) per day. The carrier has even warned that the flight crew members who attend the event will face consequences, including dismissal from their job.
“We thank the pilots’ fraternity who are members of KALPA that have ignored this unlawful strike and continue to support the airline’s operations. Of the rostered pilots who have not reported for their flights, we have issued a cut-off time before starting the disciplinary process,” Kenya Airways said in a statement released on November 7, 2022.
However, the pilots have vowed to continue striking until their demands are met.