Friday, September 26, 2008

KQ plane crash report still in Cameroon

By JUSTUS ONDARI

Kenyans might never know the cause of the Kenya Airways plane crash in Douala after it was revealed that the Cameroon Government has refused to release the report.

Addressing the company’s shareholders in Nairobi, the airline chief executive Titus Naikuni said the refusal has remained even with the intervention of the Kenya Government.

“The (Kenya) Government through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Transport Ministry and ourselves have been pressing the Cameroon Government so that it can release the report.

So far it has not released it,” the KQ CEO told the shareholders during their Annual General Meeting.

Mr Naikuni said that according to the Convention on the International Civil Aviation, only Cameroon - where KQ Flight 507, a Boeing 737-800, crashed on May 5, 2007 killing all 114 people on board—that can release the report.

“We are also very eager to know the cause of the accident so that we can act on it because we don’t want a similar event to happen ever,” he said of the crash that took place as the aircraft was flying from Douala International Airport to the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

Strike notice

The KQ CEO announced that the Transport Minister has called a meeting on Monday next week between the airline’s management and the Aviation & Allied Workers Union over a strike notice the union has issued.

“But we wish to clarify that the union issued a strike notice illegally,” he said.

Refuting reports of a go-slow by the airlines engineers, Mr Naikuni said the engineers had raised issues that the management had since then resolved.

“A consultative group has been formed to ensure continuous engagement between the management and the engineers,” he said.

Admitting that the company’s expansion programme has posed major challenges including flight delays, Mr Naikuni announced that they have recruited a chief operations officer who is solely dealing with the problems.

“There has been a remarkable difference since we created the position,” he said.

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