KQ Pilots Salary: Pilots at Kenya Airways are some of the best paid in the region. The pilots’ salaries have been on an upward trend despite the national carrier continuously returning billions of losses every year.
Prior to Covid, senior KQ staff in the rank of captain earned an average monthly salary of Sh1.6 million ($16,000), double what pilots of Ethiopian Airlines earn per month.
About half of Kenya Airways’ payroll is dished out to its pilots — who form the minority of the workforce. An official document by the national carrier showed that although pilots accounted for 13 per cent of the airline’s total workforce, they took home the equivalent of 45 per cent of the overall payout to employees.
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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. At the end of 2017, the airline had 414 pilots, out of its overall workforce of 3,548.
Perhaps the high salaries for pilots come as a no shocker, given that the carrier’s chief executive officer is also highly paid. For example, the former Kenya Airways chief executive officer Sebastian Mikosz was paid a total of Sh. 62.89 million in the financial year 2018. This salary meant that he was paid an average monthly salary of Sh. 5.2 million. This salary also comprised of Sh. 42 million salary, allowances worth Sh. 16.4 million and non-cash benefits worth Sh. 4.44 million.
With the coronavirus pandemic, Kenya Airways Chief Executive Officer Allan Kilavuka took an 80 per cent pay cut, to be reviewed on a monthly basis, while senior management including board members have had their salaries reduced by 75 per cent.