The management at Kenya Airways (KQ) is quickly growing desperate with increasing flight cancellations as the pilots’ strike enters day three.
Yesterday, Sunday, November 6, the distraught KQ leadership headed by CEO Allan Kilavuka took a rather embarrassing route in its latest frantic efforts to put an end to the ongoing chaos and confusion.
For the better part of the day, a group of online mercenaries suspected to be under KQ’s payroll unleashed terror on the pilots by discrediting the decision to down their tools.
Through the hashtag #LyingPilots, dozens of bot accounts accused the pilots of unwarranted entitlement which they claimed was bleeding the troubled company to death.
“388 pilots for less than 40 aircraft does not make sense. We need serious adjournment with the pilots,” one of the hundreds of tweets that were sent out in quick succession.
Others heaped praise on CEO Allan Kilavuka and hailed him as somewhat the only perfect guy surrounded by terrible subordinates.
“This KQ CEO has been of great help to the company, ensuring a good flow of activities there. Some pilots decided to jeopardize operations by coming up with a strike,” reads another one-sided view.
On Saturday, the pilots downed their tools accusing the airline’s management of dishonouring their plights.
Through the Kenya Airline Pilots Association (KALPA), the lobby group also accused KQ of victimization.
KALPA said that its officials and members have been harassed by the national carrier through sacking and intimidation.
It called on the airline to stop the victimization immediately lest it calls for an industrial strike.
But according to KQ, the strike would be costly on its part and dent recovery after falling into financial troubles more than five years ago.
The airline has lamented that an industrial strike would cost it Ksh 300 million daily culminating in Sh2.1 billion in weekly losses which it says it cannot sustain.
CEO Allan Kilavuka has insisted that the airline will proceed with disciplinary action against striking pilots, saying the talks with the KALPA would only resume upon suspension of the strike.