Kenya Airways Pilots Plan Strike to Force CEO Ngunze to Quit

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Kenya Airways Ltd. pilots threatened to strike later this week to force Chief Executive Officer Mbuvi Ngunze, who is implementing a reorganization that will result in at least 600 job losses, to resign.

The Kenya Airline Pilots Association wants Ngunze to resign after the company posted a record loss last year and because it thinks his turnaround plan will fail, it said in an e-mailed statement Tuesday. The strike is set to begin on Thursday, Secretary-General Paul Gichinga told reporters in the capital, Nairobi.

“It is Kalpa’s position that definitive action has to be taken, once and for all, to steer Kenya Airways in the right direction,” the association said. “We reaffirm the Kalpa membership vote of no confidence in the Kenya Airways CEO, Mbuvi Ngunze, and call for his immediate resignation.”

Kenya Airways spokeswoman Wanjiku Mugo didn’t answer her mobile phone when Bloomberg called her seeking comment.

Kenya Airways, sub-Saharan Africa’s third-biggest carrier, is cutting jobs and shrinking its fleet size by almost a third to help reverse a 25.7 billion-shilling ($253 million) annual loss it reported in July. The measures are part of a reorganization plan developed by McKinsey & Co. In February, the airline appointed PJT Partners Inc. to advise on how to restructure the company’s balance sheet and raise long-term financing.

“In 2012, a similar exercise was conducted by the same management team,” Kalpa said. “Needless to say, the staff rationalization exercise didn’t change the company’s trajectory.”

Kenya Airways operates a fleet of 36 aircraft and flies 4 million passengers a year to 53 destinations worldwide, 10 of them outside Africa, according to statement by the company last week.