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KQ ghost awakens

African Aviation Regional issues that affect the numerous pilots who work in this area of the world.

KQ ghost awakens

Old 17th Mar 2015, 20:16
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KQ ghost awakens

There has been some stories in the rumour mill that all is not well with Kenya Airways, layoffs and now selling the wide body aircraft. Anyone with more information on this?..
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Old 18th Mar 2015, 13:15
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Theres been a lot in the media - public - about reduced passenger loads, losses, restructuring and so on. Last year their published accounts made for depressing reading - thanks to Ebola and economic downturns. Recent press has reported on KQ refusing to fly the Ugandan president out of Mbarara/Gulu and now Tanzania has cut their schedule to Dar from 42 to 14 movements per week.

Also had an interesting conversation with one of their pilots who had info about KQ returning their leased 777 as they apparently weren't making the figures work any longer to keep them. New CEO and change of policies too. Launching low cost operation into Lamu/Malindi/Ukunda for $55 pp is quite a bold step...

Think pretty much all of this is in the public domain though ..... and lots in the local press.
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Old 18th Mar 2015, 16:10
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The information I have is more or less the same as the information that has been posted above. I hear two 772s have already been returned, or are in the process of being returned and also that over 10 skippers recently resigned (fancy word for 'were politely laid off'). And yes, you heard me right. It was the captains who went and not the FOs. Direct Entry Pilot application is closed for now as well. Their 777-300s fly in shifts, meaning they're rarely operating at the same time. There is also the issue of flight cancellations. The following flights, which were scheduled for today, were all cancelled.

07:50 KQ470 Kigali (KGL) Kenya Airways E90 Canceled
08:25 KQ460 Bujumbura (BJM) Kenya Airways E90 Canceled
08:25 KQ116 Amsterdam (AMS)Kenya Airways 773 Canceled
09:00 KQ420 Kilimanjaro (JRO) Kenya Airways EMB Canceled
17:00 KQ464 Bujumbura (BJM) Kenya Airways E90 Canceled
17:20 KQ474 Kigali (KGL) Kenya Airways E90 Canceled
22:40 KQ262 Antananarivo (TNR)Kenya Airways 73W Canceled
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Old 18th Mar 2015, 21:27
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KLM

How does KLM feature in this situation? Aren't KLM a partner or code sharer?
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Old 19th Mar 2015, 05:20
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Yes it appears the carrier is going through some turbulence at the moment. On top of all what others have said, there is also ME carriers expanding aggressively in E.A regions. With EK changing to bigger wider bodies for their NBO daily schedules tells you how good their PAX numbers are. With QR wanting to commence MBA flight and FZ, ET expanding on the regions too, things will for sure change for the carrier.

However the TZ issue i foresee it hurting Tanzanians more than the carrier. I don't see it holding for long. They have tried a similar tactic in the past and things went chaos for them!

sheilanjeri

With the cancellations do you think they are due to lack of sufficient PAX numbers or crew shortage due to exceeding their limits?
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Old 19th Mar 2015, 05:53
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FERetd

Yes, KLM is a partner. It's more than that actually, they hold about 26% of KQ's shares making them one of the larger shareholders for the carrier. Whether they can influence thing's at Kenya Airways, and to what extent, I'm not too sure.

254HEAVY

I just read an article that was quite informative. Following the sacking of the over 10 pilots, KAPLA (Which is the union for pilots in Kenya), advised Kenya airways pilots to withdraw their goodwill (fancy piloting word for working overtime). Everyone knows that KQ (as do most airlines) have a shortage of pilots. The available pilots have been working on goodwill. Paying the pilots for working overtime it seems, is more cost effective. So rather than hiring more pilots, they'd rather have the current pilots work OT.
NB For those who aren't familiar with this concept of goodwill, pilots that fly on goodwill are not over worked. They don't fly more than the maximum number of hours as stipulated by the law.
So all of the flights that were cancelled yesterday were as a result of this 'go-slow'.
I think KQ might be struggling on the PAX numbers on other routes and equipment, but not the Amsterdam one. From what I hear, that 777 is almost always full.
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Old 19th Mar 2015, 09:20
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Hi everyone. New member here.

sheilanjeri,

You're right. The KQ pilots have gone on a go slow after the retirement of the 10 senior 772 pilots. More cancelled flights today (19.03.2015). But what I don't understand is the pilots themselves knew their jobs were on the line. After KQ issued their offer for the sale of the four 772 (Found here...note that it's a MS Word file), it should have been obvious to the pilots that they were to go home.

This is the press statement KQ released yesterday:

PRESS STATEMENT

MARCH 18th, 2015 – Kenya Airways is in continuous engagement with the Kenya Airline Local Pilots Association (KALPA) in regards to the possible fall out following issuance of early retirement notices to 10 of its pilots.

The 10 pilots were all set to retire in the near term and the notice letters were issued as part of the reduction in the B777-200 fleet announced in November last year and in accordance with the Collective Bargaining Agreement signed between KALPA and Kenya Airways, which allows for retirement in such a manner.

The senior pilots, all between ages of 62 and 65 have been employed by the airline for some several decades and are expected to retire with full benefits.

Kenya Airways remains keen finding a speedy resolution on this matter and will continue to nurture a mutually beneficial relationship with the union
Source: KENYA AIRWAYS ON PILOTS

Further, the new 773s are being barely used, alternating AMS otherwise parked on the apron. Rumours I have been hearing around is that the 773s might be sold also as it has proven very difficult to fill the seats although KQ has announced they will use one on the LHR route during the 2015 summer schedule.

On the 738s, KQ retired two of them end of last year after receiving 3 new ones. Cashflow seems to be their problem at the moment.
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Old 19th Mar 2015, 11:40
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kq dire straits

Flip through the earlier posts sometime last year.I predicted this downturn.Some unmentionables in here thought it was raving rants...K.A. is not immortal.Time for total strategy rethinking perhaps... Has the Sky team alliance helped or hindered? Should J.J. be a separate independent carrier? Should K.A. just be one LCC with a new with performance bonus for staff productivity (no bonus for managment till airline meets its say 10 year strategic profitability targets? Do without ab-initio training and focus on ATPLs with glass jet experience to expedite transition training thereby saving costs (do not under estimate the annual training budget).., enter a sale-lease back deal on its fleets so as to improve balance sheet.

Perhaps new breed of senior management with bolder vision and reforms in policy and KALPA bargaining process......

Something's gotta give...K.A. Needs serious gtesh breath or even CPR to resuscitate it...perhapa a rebranding exercise? Transform all those ted colours into a more optimistic. GREEN!
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Old 19th Mar 2015, 12:56
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Why were 10 pilots sacked ? Or have they just jumped ship and gone off to China or the Middle East for richer pickings ?
Looks like KALPA are still running KQ ( into the ground ) .
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Old 19th Mar 2015, 20:36
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@Kotakota

Wow what a misplaced statement. Last i checked KQ has a bonafide board of directors and an appointed CEO that run it, not KALPA.

It is the same board, that bought or leased the T7's that can't break even, at 100 percent pax load. Yup brand new Aircrafts parked along RWY 06, i'm not sure KALPA had a hand in it.

Expansions gobble up lots of cash, and the Airline industry is cash hungry. The management seems to have mistimed or mismanaged it. Remember project Mawingu and the rights issue? If memory serves me right it wasn't KALPA's baby. At a time when the country was going through Insecurity, consequently western Nations issuing Travel advisories to or through Kenya. Ebola scourge in West Africa, some of the companies most lucrative routes. High fuel prices up until late last year. Poor fuel hedging practices, i really doubt it was KALPA.

To turn around and forcefully retire a handful of T7 skippers as a cost saving measure, to help dig out of billions of dollars of debt is being insincere. And even so, the law is very clear on Voluntary Early retirement, all KALPA wants for its pilots who have given more than half their lives in the company, is for due process to be followed even if some pilots have to be let go.

Why some people feel the need to bash a union that only seeks to protect local pilots. i do not know. A failed "expat" maybe?
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Old 19th Mar 2015, 21:01
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Ha ha .... Get personal why don't you ? I am not going to get involved in a pointless slanging match . No Union has a perfect record of fair play , so please don't delude yourself or have selective amnesia .
Why were all those flights cancelled ?
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Old 20th Mar 2015, 05:07
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Flights were cancelled simply because pilots have refused to work on their days off. Is it not telling of the situation, when the company claims to have excess pilots, yet they can not sufficiently crew flights and accord everyone their 8 days off on a 28 day roster on some fleets.
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Old 20th Mar 2015, 09:11
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my understanding was that K.A was in a good path and tracking good on their "project mawingu" adventure! Only road block was JKIA and they didn't want to expand into other routes or acquire new fleets until Greenfield airport is done and dusted!

All this "hearsay" about the carrier even projecting to sell their 777W kinda tells its all!

Any financial advice whether to sell shares now or hold? Looks like soon they will be selling their E-jets too if they are that cash hungry! Then back to flying PAX on C210's & C208's!
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Old 20th Mar 2015, 10:20
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KQ Vs Tz

Interesting report in the local papers about the ongoing argument between Kenya and Tanzania over flight clearances....
"A budget airline, which was unable to secure a licence to operate from Nairobi in 2013, is at the centre of the latest spat between Kenya and Tanzania.

Fastjet, which is backed by Eastyjet founder Stelios Haji Ioannou, was to launch operations in Kenya via buying Fly540 but the deal fell through. And with an attempt to launch on its own also collapsing, it set base in Tanzania.
The airline has been trying to operate flights to Kenya from Tanzania but a 2011 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) requiring that only airlines with substantial local ownership can be licensed to operate scheduled services between the two countries, locked it out.

However confidential information seen by the Nation, show Tanzania attempted to circumnavigate the MoU on the basis of 'principle place of business and effective regulatory control as additional designation criteria for its airlines. On this criterion, Tanzania wanted Kenya to allow Fastjet to operate scheduled servciess here. Refusal by the Ministry of Transport on the basis that the principles of the Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) and MoU must be protected from susceptible to misinterpreation and abuse triggered Tanzania to change flight terms for KQ.
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Old 20th Mar 2015, 10:24
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double edged Sword.

From what i gather from the posts is there are obviously more problems that present themselves within the airline that just an early retirement. Its is only apparent because the union has picked it up from the unfair treatment of crew. Apparently even one captain was sent a letter whilst still on duty with the aircraft in London???....
would there have been a go slow if 50 ramp staff were retired?
Kalpa is only doing its bit...for the crew...it is unfortunate that the go slow is,in my honest opinion ill timed when the airline is grappling with other issues totally unrelated to 10 retirees....

but not a union problem, ...if you look back in history, the guys involved in acquiring the ejet were retired quietly ?
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Old 20th Mar 2015, 11:02
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Oderiko2000 said it just as I would. Right on....
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Old 20th Mar 2015, 16:08
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Trackdiamond
Should K.A. just be one LCC with a new with performance bonus for staff productivity (no bonus for managment till airline meets its say 10 year strategic profitability targets?
Oh yes ... in 10 years? Management in certain third world countries will have no problems in paying bonus' at any time. In fact, just like management in certain first world countries
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Old 20th Mar 2015, 21:25
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Shock as KQ flight ban begins to bite - National - thecitizen.co.tz

Hope I'm not going off topic, but according to this Tanzanian newspaper, they have shot them selves in the foot. What a shame in these tough times that we can't all get together and help one another.
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Old 23rd Mar 2015, 06:00
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So..... the so called "BAN" is off and it's business as usual for the carrier! I knew it wouldn't hold for long. Tanzania were gona loose more than the carrier!
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Old 23rd Mar 2015, 20:20
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Devil Aviation in "bongo land"

I just wonder why Aviation is so jinxed in Tz?
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