Kenya’s struggling national airline, Kenya Airways has announced it will be cutting up to 600 jobs as a cost cutting measure.
The move is expected to save the company some € 200 million.
The reductions at the airline, partly owned by the government as well as Air France KLM, could see around 15 percent of the 4,000-strong workforce declared redundant.
The Board has, after re-evaluating the various options, come to the painful decision that part of the required overhead savings will be— Kenya Airways (@KenyaAirways) March 31, 2016
members of staff being declared redundant or redeployed elsewhere should their terms of service allow it.— Kenya Airways (@KenyaAirways) March 31, 2016
The airline which has been struggling to keep a balance of its operations and profits earlier this month announced a reduction in the size of its fleet and expressed the hope that lowered fuel cost could help it maximize profit in 2016.
The company recorded a pretax loss of $293 million for three consecutive years up to its financial year, end of March 2015. But the losses narrowed in the last six months leading to September 2015.
As part of efforts to improve profitability and “seek a long term sustainable financial structure”, the airline said it had been forced to take “hard decisions on the aircraft we fly as well as making substantial changes on other aspects of our business,” AFP reported.
The restructuring expected to begin in May “will result in the termination or redeployment of 600 employees,” the airline said.
Kenya Airways, whose slogan is “The Pride of Africa”, is one of the continent’s biggest carriers connecting multiple nations within Africa to Europe and Asia.
But Kenya has seen a slump in the number of international tourists visiting the country in recent years, with some visitors having been scared off after attacks by the al-Qaeda linked Somali Islamist group, al-Shabab.
Meanwhile the airline’s CEO has told Reuters that the government, which has a 29.8 percent stake in the airline, supports the cut in operational costs.
Two of the airline’s Boeing 777-200 aircraft have been sold and another five (Boeing 777-300 and Boeing 787) have been sub-leased.