Inside Politics

AFEX boss says KQ has denied them access to their offices, requests for new access gate on Airport North Road

Wednesday, August 18th, 2021 00:00 |
748 Air Services aircraft and KQ are locked in a dispute over property at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. Photo/PD/File

Kenya Airways management has set itself on a collision course with the Judiciary over contempt of court after blocking a competitor from accessing its offices.

Africa Express Aviation (AFEX) obtained a High Court order on August 5, directing KQ, as Kenya Airways is known by its international code, to allow AFEX to use KAA gate at the Airport North Road to get to the offices.

However, according AFEX Managing Director, Captain Musa Bulhan, KQ has blocked them from accessing their offices despite the court order which warned of penal consequences to the airline or any person(s) disobeying and not observing the same.

Africa Express Aviation has disclosed in a letter addressed to the Airport Manager, Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) requesting for new access gate on Airport North Road, that KQ has denied them access to their offices.

Legal tussles

He notes that employees have been unable to access AFEX facilities due to an ongoing legal tussle between Kenya Airways and 748 air services over a parcel of land purportedly owned by African Airlines International.

“The unresolved legal tussles between 748 Air Services and Kenya Airways in which KQ is claiming ownership of the plot 9042/583 and secured eviction orders to remove 748 Air Services has affected us greatly, and we are unable to access our premises on LR. No 9042/584 because KQ has denied us access even after the court order was given,” says the letter in part.

“We have further obtained on 5/8/21, a high court order directing KQ to allow us access into our premises in which KQ has responded stating that we cannot use the KAA gate on Airport North Road,” it adds.

Bulhan tells the JKIA manager that it is on this background that the airline is requesting the management of the airport to facilitate an independent gate to enable its access its premises on LR No. 9042/584.

“In the interest of time and appreciating that this may not be in JKIA budget at the moment, we are pleading to be allowed to prefinance this construction of an independent gate once approved and as directed by JKIA,” he adds in the letter.

The court had ordered against any acts of disobedience and non-observance until it makes a ruling on the matter in September, 23, 2021, warning that failure to observe the orders would attract penal consequences.

“Pending the delivery of the said ruling, the defendant shall on a temporary basis restore the plaintiff forthwith into L.R. No. 9042/584 and shall ensure that their agents, contractors, employees and workmen vacate and remove themselves from the premises immediately and unconditionally,” said Justice Okong’o in the order.

Executing eviction

The tussle between AFEX and KQ comes after a Nairobi court  had earlier granted Aviation company, 748 Air Services staying orders preventing Kenya Airways and its agents from further executing eviction orders.

The airline filed a legal suit against Kenya Airways for malicious damage of its property worth millions of shillings and harassment of employees.

“In the interim, a temporary injunction be and is hereby issued restraining the plaintiff by itself or servants and/or agents from interfering with the defendant/Applicants quiet enjoyment use and occupation of the suit property pending interpartes hearing of this application,” said Milimani Commercial Court Principal Magistrate,  AN Makau.

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