Kenya Airways (KQ) has fired at least 70 contracted staff affiliated to Career Directions Limited (CDL), a recruitment firm.
Reports indicate that crew and staff tasked with ground handling are the most affected.
The airline is said to have had approximately 1000 staff hired through different recruitment firms including CDL; Insight Management; Tradewinds Aviation Services; Preferred Personnel Africa; and Strami.
In 2017, KQ announced tough new terms for contract workers who were seeking to be hired directly by the company.
A report in the Daily Nation said they were expected to sign consent forms to allow Kenya Airways to investigate their backgrounds.
Information assessed included contact of landlords of workers, borrowing history from the credit reference bureau TransUnion, social media and criminal records.
The latest sacking comes barely two weeks after the airline announced a new acting CEO: Allan Kilavuka.
He has been CEO of Jambojet, the Kenya Airways subsidiary, for about a year.
The carrier said he would continue in that role as well as leading Kenya Airways “until a substantive CEO for Kenya Airways has been recruited and appointed”.
Sebastian Mikosz, the current boss, announced his resignation in May amid the loss-making carrier’s renationalization process.
According to Reuters, Kenya Airways was privatized more than 20 years ago but sank into debt and losses in 2014 after a failed expansion drive, among other factors.
In July this year, MPs voted to have the State take back the airline, which is 48.9% government-owned and 7.8% held by Air France-KLM.
Kenya Airways is hoping to emulate the successful model employed by its rival, state-owned Ethiopian Airlines, sub-Saharan Africa’s biggest airline.
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