Kenya Airways Pilots: Kenya Airways is set to lay off its senior pilots who earn more than Sh. 1 million per month. In its latest round of sackings, the national carrier will send home 207 of its 414 pilots. Among those who will go home include the top earning millionaire pilots. As at the end of 2017, the airline had 414 pilots, out of its overall workforce of 3,548.
This means that the national carrier could do away with the majority of its top ranking pilots who are also the top earners. Currently, senior KQ staff in the rank of captain earned an average monthly salary of Sh. 1.6 million ($16,000), double what pilots of Ethiopian Airlines earn per month.
The national carrier will send the pilots home within the next three years as it seeks to cut down on its operational costs. According to a report that appeared in the Business Daily on Monday, these firings will see KQ save up to Sh. 3.24 billion. So far, the carrier has fired 650 employees, mostly trainee pilots, trainee cabin crew, technician trainees and newly hired staff on probation, and plans to shed 590 more jobs.
Staff under the umbrella of the Kenya Aviation Workers Union (KAWU) account for the bulk of workforce at 65 percent but take home an estimated 30.5 percent of KQ’s payroll. Managers at the airline account for an estimated 22 percent of the workforce and draw compensation equivalent of 22 per cent of the payroll. Expatriates represent 0.3 percent of the airlines workforce and pocket 2.6 percent of its payroll.
“Based on our three-year projection, we will require 50 percent to 60 percent of pilots to efficiently support the reduced operations. Our target is to reduce the company’s overall total fixed costs, not just staff costs, by about 50 percent in response to our revenue projections,” KQ chief executive officer Allan Kivaluka told the local business paper. “We are reducing our network, our assets, and our people. The reduction will not be like for like, meaning that the shrinkage will not be uniform across the three areas.”