Operations are getting back to normal at East Africa’s busiest airport after aviation worker’s strike shut down Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi Tuesday evening and early Wednesday.
The aviation workers’ union agreed to suspend their strike that had left hundreds of passengers stranded at JKIA.
“I am pleased to announce that the issues that we had at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport that resulted in the disruption of operations this morning have been resolved and we expect that the first flight to take off in the next hour or so,” said James Macharia.
The workers went on strike Tuesday evening following a strike notice issued on February 27, 2019, where the workers opposed the handover of management of the airport to Kenya Airways.
KAWU is also accusing the management of Kenya Airways (KQ) of financial wastage.
Situation at #JKIA GSU anti-riot disrupts ongoing strike by Kenya Aviation Authority Workers Union
Kenya Airways pic.twitter.com/9sjWNeMdQ4
— Eric Kobia (@RoyalRiqs) March 6, 2019
According to the CS, “The disruption was caused by about 30 KAA workers who engaged in illegal activities within JKIA’s compound aimed at sabotaging the airport’s operations.”
“Further to the strike by KAWU members, we expect disruptions on flights…we sincerely apologize for any inconvenience caused,” said Kenya Airways on Twitter.
Kenya Airways advised passengers with scheduled flights from 11 am onwards not to go to the airport until further notice. Kenya Airways CEO Sebastian Mikosz said 26 flights (24 departures, 2 arrivals) were disrupted following the aviation workers’ strike. Affected passengers were advised to rebook or reroute them at no extra cost.
On the other hand, the Kenya Airports Authority in a statement said that the strike was illegal with Labour Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani insisting there is a court injunction against the strike.
“We are currently taking measures to ensure normalcy returns as soon as possible and that service interruption are minimized. We advise all passengers using JKIA to get in touch with their respective airlines to confirm their travel arrangements,” read part of the KAA statement.