Troubled Kenya Airways is set to lay off 80 staff members in its first phase of redundancy plan that is expected to see 600 retrenched or redeployed to other departments.
The debt ridden carrier is struggling to overcome a tough turbulence that has flown it to the loss making territory.
It had in March warned a sixth of its staff members- regarded as redundant, will lose their jobs while others would be redeployed elsewhere within the company in a ‘painful’ restructuring exercise.
“During this period we have stress-tested the accuracy of our right-sizing estimates in order to ensure that we have identified all possible ways to retain staff as well as securing the airlines long term operational efficiency,” said KQ Group Managing Director and CEO, Mbuvi Ngunze.
KQ’s number of staff stands at 3,986.
On March 31, the airline issued a notice to right size through staff redundancies and redeployment as required by law and made an update to staff on May 4, following intense consultations with all parties involved.
Over the last few months, it embarked on its “Operation Pride” turnaround program to boost profitability.
It hopes to deliver over Sh 20 billion ($200 million) of value in various initiatives, with 50 percent of the focus will be on revenue generation and other half on cost reduction.
Plans will also entail reduction in fleet to reflect its current fiscal realities.
Ngunze has term the months as a difficult period for Kenya Airways and employee but assured the carrier will offer assistance for affected staff at the time of the exercise and for 2 weeks thereafter.
The process, the company asserted will be in full compliance with labour laws, Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBA) and individual staff members’ contracts as appropriate.
“The decision communicated above is not made lightly, and I want to thank all employees for their tremendous resilience and commitment in serving our guests in challenging times for the company. I also want to thank our people affected in this process for their commitment and hard work and wish them every success in their future endeavors,” said Mbuvi.
The recent measures accounts for a paltry 10 percent of the overall turnaround plan, setting on stage a massive re-organization in the months to come.