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Kenya Airways will restart monthly contributions to its staff pension fund which were stopped due to the Covid pandemic, an internal memo showed on Thursday, resolving a key grievance that led to a pilot strike.
Tens of thousands of passengers were stranded last November when the carrier’s 400 pilots walked out, demanding that pension contributions be restarted and deferred pay settled. The strike ended after a court order.
The airline, one of the biggest in Africa, will resume the contributions next month, it said in the memo, without any obligation to fill the accrued contributions since the scheme was suspended in March 2020.
The move follows an assessment of the airline’s “continued improvement in operations”, said the memo signed by Tom Shivo, the head of human resources.
There was no immediate comment from the airline’s management on the contents of the memo.
Visitors to Kenya rebounded to 72% of pre-pandemic levels last year, the tourism minister said on Wednesday, outpacing the average recovery in the rest of the continent, which stands at 65% of the pre-Covid level.
The government views Kenya Airways as important for tourism and the economy in general due to its role in offering travel connections, but it has turned into a money pit in recent years after persistent losses pushed it into technical insolvency.
The government has been offering it regular bailouts but patience is running thin. President William Ruto, who took over last September, has said he wants his government to sell the carrier to private investors.