KQ Pilots Salary: Pilots at Kenya Airways are some of the best paid in the region. The pilots’ salaries have been on an upward trend despite the national carrier continuously returning billions of losses every year.
Senior KQ staff in the rank of captain earned an average monthly salary of Sh1.6 million ($16,000), double what pilots of Ethiopian Airlines earn per month.
About half of Kenya Airways’ payroll is dished out to its pilots — who form the minority of the workforce. An official document by the national carrier showed that although pilots accounted for 13 per cent of the airline’s total workforce, they took home the equivalent of 45 per cent of the overall payout to employees.
Staff under the umbrella of the Kenya Aviation Workers Union (KAWU) accounted for the bulk of workforce at 65 percent but took home an estimated 30.5 percent of KQ’s payroll. Managers at the airline accounted for 22 percent of the workforce and drew compensation equivalent of 22 per cent of the payroll. Expatriates represented 0.3 percent of the airlines workforce and pocket 2.6 percent of its payroll. At the end of 2017, the airline had 414 pilots, out of its overall workforce of 3,548.
Perhaps the high salaries for pilots come as a nos shocker, given that the carrier’s chief executive officer is also highly paid. For example, outgoing Kenya Airways chief executive officer was paid a total of Sh. 62.89 million in the financial year 2018. This salary meant that the CEO Sebastian Mikosz was paid an average monthly salary of Sh. 5.2 million. This salary also comprised of Sh. 42 million salary, allowances worth Sh. 16.4 million and non-cash benefits worth Sh. 4.44 million.
In the financial year 2018, Kenya Airways posted a Sh. 7.55 billion net loss. The company’s revenue in 2018 hit Sh114.18 billion, largely driven by passenger bookings. Its revenue in the previous 9-month period stood at Sh. 80.7 billion. It’s total operating costs stood at Sh. 114.87 billion in the period under review.
“Fuel, personnel and the cost of aircraft remain the top three drivers of airline costs contributing to about two thirds of total operating cost for the airline,” chairman Michael Joseph said in a statement. The carrier also cited fuel costs, which rose 73.6 percent to Sh. 33 billion, as a major challenge.