Kenya Airways pilots returned to work on Wednesday after a court ordered them to end their days-long strike, which had led to hundreds of flight cancellations and stranded thousands of passengers.
The strike, which began on Saturday, exacerbated the troubled national carrier’s woes, which has vowed to “do everything possible to return to normalcy in the shortest time.”
Hours after a Nairobi court ordered the pilots to return to work; the Kenya Airline Pilots Association said its members would “resume duty” by 06:00 am (0300 GMT) on Wednesday — the deadline stipulated by the judge.
“The strike is off; we are back to work,” a KALPA spokesperson said Wednesday.
Despite the announcement ending the strike, Kenya Airways’ latest online update showed just 19 flights operating on Wednesday, fewer than the 26 scheduled the day before.
KALPA launched the walkout at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in defiance of a court injunction issued last week against the strike, prompting the government to threaten the pilots with disciplinary action.
In a breakthrough for the beleaguered airline, Justice Anna Mwaure on Tuesday ordered KALPA members to resume their duties “unconditionally” by 6:00 am Wednesday.
Kenya Airways, which is part-owned by the government and Air France-KLM, is one of the biggest in Africa, connecting multiple countries to Europe and Asia.
But it has been running losses for years, despite the government pumping millions of dollars to keep it afloat.