October 11, 2016 / 10:21 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 2-Kenyan pilots call strike next week to demand change at national carrier

(Updates with airline’s comments)

By Humphrey Malalo

NAIROBI, Oct 11 (Reuters) - A major Kenyan pilots’ union has called for an indefinite strike beginning Oct. 18 to protest what it described as poor management at the troubled national carrier Kenya Airways, the union’s general secretary said on Tuesday.

“We have no confidence in the airline’s recovery,” said a circular from Capt. Paul Gichinga, the head of the Kenya Airline Pilots Association (KALPA).

“KALPA’s members will from 5:00 a.m. (local time) Tuesday 18th of October down their tools until a comprehensive change of guard at Kenya Airways is effected.”

Kenya Airways, which ferries 12,000 passengers daily on a fleet on Boeing and Embraer planes, said it would issue a statement on the strike notice on Wednesday.

Last month Kenya Airways, which is 27 percent-owned by Air France KLM, said it was seeking foreign investors to raise cash. The company has said it needs about 70 billion shillings ($692 million).

Kenya Airways has been reducing and modernising its fleet, selling land and cutting jobs to recover from losses caused by a slump in tourism. (Writing by Katharine Houreld; Editing by Mark Trevelyan and Louise Heavens)

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