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KQ spends Sh62 million to quarantine staff in hotels

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A Kenya Airways aircraft at JKIA. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Summary

  • The airline made the payments to Four Points by Sheraton Nairobi Airport hotel, Four Points by Sheraton Nairobi Hurlingham hotel and Panari Hotel on Mombasa Road in Nairobi on diverse dates.
  • The spending came at a time when the carrier was also cutting workers’ pay to preserve cash and stay aloft.
  • The expenditure was incurred between March 25 and May 26, a period when the government had banned international passenger travel and restricted domestic movements, limiting it to cargo operations and special passenger flight missions.

The Kenya Airways #ticker:KQ (KQ) spent Sh62.3 million in two-and-a-half months to quarantine its cabin crew in Nairobi’s high-end hotels, revealing the firm’s high cost of operations in the Covid-19 pandemic.

The airline made the payments to Four Points by Sheraton Nairobi Airport hotel, Four Points by Sheraton Nairobi Hurlingham hotel and Panari Hotel on Mombasa Road in Nairobi on diverse dates.

The spending came at a time when the carrier was also cutting workers’ pay to preserve cash and stay aloft.

The expenditure was incurred between March 25 and May 26, a period when the government had banned international passenger travel and restricted domestic movements, limiting it to cargo operations and special passenger flight missions.

The loss-making firm converted some of its 41 passenger planes grounded by the pandemic for shipment of cargo to Europe and Asia.

“Panari Hotel received Sh23 million to offer accommodation services to KQ crew members in March,” said an invoice prepared by the airline’s finance department.

The rest of the money went to the Sheraton hotels properties. The airline spent additional sums to quarantine its staff at other properties including Hilton Garden Inn, Boma Hotel and Crowne Plaza Hotel.

The crew members were subjected to a coronavirus test following a protest by the Kenya Airline Pilots Association (Kalpa).

In a protest letter, Kalpa accused KQ of assigning duties to crew members who are in self-isolation before the completion of the recommended 14-day period.