NAIROBI, Oct. 14 (Xinhua) -- A Kenyan court on Friday stopped a planned strike by Kenya Airways pilots which was due to start next week to protest against mismanagement of the airline.
Employment and Labour Court Judge Nduma Nderi granted temporary orders stopping the strike in an application filed by the airline.
"An order is issued restraining Kenya Airlines Pilots Association and their members from calling or participating in any industrial action, strike or a go-slow due to the ongoing restructuring at Kenya Airways Limited until the suit is heard and determined," Justice Nderi ruled.
He directed that Kenya Airline Pilots Association (Kalpa) which represents about 450 pilots, should be served with the court papers.
Kenya Airways Limited, through lawyer Geoffrey Obura argued that the intended strike by pilots was ill-advised and meant to scamper their restructuring programs and make the national carrier incur more losses.
"The strike notice and the reasons given are both in contempt of the court order. The resignation of chairman Dennis Awori and CEO Mbuvi Ngunze, as demanded by Kalpa, are not acts within the control of the airline," Obura said.
He said the airline and Kalpa had entered a consent in court in June stopping a strike by the pilots and agreed that any party not satisfied with the contents of the consent order, was to approach the court for further directions.
The lawyer said Kenya Airways has service contracts worldwide which any industrial action will adversely affect occasioning inevitable financial losses.
"What the pilots have been doing cannot be allowed given their intention is to sabotage recovery plans put in place by Kenya Airways," Obura said.
The pilots association issued a seven-day strike notice demanding an overhaul of Kenya Airways' management team.
"Our position as a union regarding the immediate change of guard at Kenya Airways is certainly not new," said Kalpa secretary general Paul Gichinga.
Meanwhile, Kenya Airways has announced that its fleet is running a normal schedule including sale of tickets at all purchase points. The airline had threatened to stop selling tickets on its network if the pilots union does not retract a strike notice issued after another flight delay.
"Kenya Airways wishes to confirm it is running a normal schedule including sale of tickets at all its purchase points. All flights scheduled for today were crewed and on schedule. Kenya Airways operates up to 160 flights a day in its network," it said in a statement.
However, sources said the cabin crew went on a go slow citing poor relations with management and poor medical benefits.
"The airline is however aware that some of its outsourced staff have stayed away from work and is working with their employer to understand and resolve any issues they may have," Kenya Airways said.