Kenya Airways pilots call off strike after some demands met

Pilots for Kenya Airways Ltd. called off a strike that forced the airline to cancel some flights on Thursday, saying several demands for “management changes” have been addressed.

The action began on Thursday as pilots demanded the resignation of Chief Executive Officer Mbuvi Ngunze, who is leading a turnaround strategy for the loss-making carrier.

The pilots will return to work on Friday until at least the end of consultations with Kenya Airways executives on June 1, Paul Gichinga, secretary-general of the Kenya Airline Pilots Association, said in an e-mailed statement.

The association and the airline on Thursday “reached an agreement that will see management changes effected immediately at Kenya Airways,” he said.

Sub-Saharan Africa’s third-biggest carrier plans to cut 600 jobs in May and has shrunk its fleet 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.

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 a statement by the company last week.

– Bloomberg