Kenya Airways (KQ) is set to lay off hundreds of employees in a rightsizing exercise aimed at addressing the negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on its business.
KQ CEO Allan Kilavuka in a memo said the move was informed by the airline’s dwindling revenues in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, which led to the suspension of all domestic and international passenger flights.
“A decision has been reached to carry out an organization-wide rightsizing exercise which will result in a reduction of our network, our assets, and our staff.”
“Effectively, we have commenced a phased staff rationalization process, which we expect to conclude by September 30th, 2020,” Kilavuka’s memo states.
“With the suppressed demand for air transport, a large part of our fleet will remain grounded. We will also operate a reduced network when we resume our services as we anticipate that it will take some time before the industry starts to rebound.”
KQ grounded all its passenger flights in March after the government announced a travel ban as part of the measures to contain the spread of Covid-19. The carrier did not suspend cargo operations but this has not been enough to sustain the business.
Last week, Kilavuka disclosed that the airline has lost an estimated Sh10 billion due to the Covid-19 crisis. He said the losses could soar to Sh50 billion by the end of this year.
KQ joins other global airlines such as Qatar Airways and the Fly Emirates that trimmed their workforce in recent months.