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Kenya airport authorities assurance on normal flight operations | Coastweek

MOMBASA (Xinhua) -- Stranded passengers are seen at the Moi International Airport in Mombasa. Flights to and from Kenya’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) were disrupted on Wednesday as aviation workers began a strike over a dispute with airport management. XINHUA PHOTO - FRED MUTUNE

Kenya airport authorities assurance on normal flights operations

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenyan airport authorities said Wednesday flights operations which have been affected by an illegal strike by a section of airport workers are steadily normalizing.

Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) said all scheduled arrivals have been processed and the backlog of departures arising from this morning’s disruptions has been substantively cleared.

"As we continue to implement plans to fully normalize operations at JKIA, we reiterate our earlier advice to the travelling public to get in touch with their respective airlines and travel agents for confirmation of their travel arrangements," KAA said in a statement issued in Nairobi.

At least five flights from Kenya Airways and Ethiopian Airlines have departed the JKIA (Jomo Kenyatta International Airport) after security officers began manning counters following the workers strike that had disrupted the services.

The strike forced the Kenyan authorities to divert flights to Tanzania and Kenyan coastal city of Mombasa.

"KQ 349 from Khartoum had been diverted to Kilimanjaro.

"This flight landed in Nairobi at 0517hrs. KQ505 from Accra that had been diverted to Mombasa arrived at 0559hrs," Kenya Airways said in a statement.

The striking employees allied to Kenya Aviation Workers Union opposed the handover of management of JKIA to Kenya Airways and are also accusing the national carrier leadership of financial wastage.
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UPDATE:

Kenya says full flight operations restored after disruption caused by strike

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Flight operations at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), disrupted on Wednesday by a strike, have been restored, Kenyan authorities said Thursday.

"KAA wishes to inform the public that normal operations have been restored at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA)," the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) said in a statement.

The strike, by more than 1,000 employees affiliated to the Kenya Aviation Workers Union across all airports and airstrips in the country, sparked confusion, flight cancellations and massive passenger queues.

The employees are opposed to the handover of management of JKIA to Kenya Airways and are also accusing the national carrier’s leadership of financial wastage.

The union members, including cabin crew, ground staff, security, air traffic controllers and maintenance staff, have questioned the proposed merger.
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EARLIER REPORTS:

Aviation workers strike disrupts flights in Kenya

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Flights to and from Kenya’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) were disrupted on Wednesday as aviation workers began strike over management row.

The workers under Kenya Aviation Workers Union (KAWU) are opposed to the planned handover of the airport operations from Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) to Kenya Airways (KQ), arguing such plans will render most of them jobless and want the plan to be discarded.

Passengers said no plane can take off or land at JKIA as fire engines on the airside have been withdrawn.

"All flights are grounded. Boarding - passes issuance area, security screening area and waiting area are all empty with hundreds of passengers still stranded outside," an airport worker said.

The worker who declined to be named said the strike took many by surprise and has led to a crisis at this normally busy airport. Most flights have not taken off since 3 a.m. local time (0000GMT).

At least ten flights have been affected by the strike with a Rwanda Air plane that was supposed to pick up passengers were leaving the airport empty. Passengers have been asked to speak to their airlines.

KQ on Wednesday confirmed flight disruptions, urging passengers on flights after 11 a.m. local time (0800GMT) not to come to the airport until further communication is shared.

On Tuesday, KQ which is part-owned by the Kenyan government had assured travelers that flights would not be disrupted.

KAA posted a similar statement, saying "we wish to assure the general public of normal operations at all our Airplanes."

The union members which include cabin crew, ground staff, security, air traffic controllers and maintenance staff, has questioned the proposed merger, which is under scrutiny by Parliament.

The union was demanding the removal of KAA top management and their KQ counterparts.
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Kenya says efforts underway to normalize flight operations

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenyan airport authorities said Wednesday efforts are underway to ensure normal operations at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) due to an illegal strike by a section of workers.

The Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) confirmed that its experiencing some operational disruptions at the JKIA as the strike called by the Kenya Aviation Workers Union (KAWU) resulted in disruptions of flight services to and from the Kenyan capital Nairobi.

"We are currently taking measures to ensure normalcy returns as soon as possible and that service interruptions are minimized," KAA said in a statement issued in Nairobi.

"We advise all passengers using JKIA to get in touch with their respective airlines to confirm their travel arrangements," it added.

The police on Wednesday engaged the striking workers in running battles and lobbed teargas canisters to disperse them.

Some of the Kenya Airways workers were seriously injured while KAWU secretary-general Moses Ndiema was arrested for taking part in illegal strike.

The grounded JKIA flights have also affected operations at airports in the coastal city of Mombasa, lakeside city of Kisumu and in Eldoret in northwest Kenya.

Several passengers are stranded at the airport after their flights were delayed or rescheduled, with some cancelling their engagements abroad.

KAA said it’s committed to ensuring that normalcy returns to all its airports as soon as possible and will keep the public informed of any further developments.

The industrial action follows a strike notice issued on Feb. 27 by the union, where the workers opposed the handover of management of the airport to Kenya Airways.

The airline seeks to enter into a concession agreement with the Kenya Airports Authority to operate and maintain the airport.

The move has since been halted by Parliament.

KAWU is accusing the management of Kenya Airways of financial wastage and paying hefty salaries to senior managers and consultants.

Both Kenya Airways and KAA have dismissed the strike as illegal following the issuance of an order of injunction by the Employment and Labour Relations court on Tuesday.

Kenya Airways warned the public to expect disruptions on flights.

"Customers on flights after 11 am are advised not to come to the airport until further communication is shared.

"We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience caused," said the carrier.

           

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