Silverstone to retrench workers as KCAA lifts suspension on aircraft

Tuesday, November 19th, 2019 20:18 |
The Silverstone aircraft that made an emergency landing at Eldoret International Airport. PD/JIMMY GITAKA
The Silverstone aircraft that made an emergency landing at Eldoret International Airport. PD/JIMMY GITAKA

Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) has lifted the suspension of Silverstone Air Services’ Dash 8 series aircraft after completing an audit, even as the company said it will lay off staff.

“KCAA confirms that the Airline has provided satisfactory corrective measures as per the requirements of the Civil Aviation Regulations 2018, following comprehensive compliance audits on the operations and procedures of Silverstone Air Services conducted between October 24 and November  15,” said KCAA in a statement yesterday.

Earlier on Silverstone Air had warned its pilots and crew in a redundancy notice of imminent job cuts as the troubled airline plans closure of its operations following the grounding of its Dash-8 fleet.

The move sounded a death knell for the airline’s staff who had hoped for a rebound of its fortunes after the seven-day suspension of its Dash-8 series lapsed on Tuesday.

“Silverstone Air Service Ltd has become redundant. This decision has been made as a result of the recent decision by Kenya Civil Aviation Authority to ground the company’s fleet, thereby grounding our passenger service,” read the redundancy notice in part.

Brand’s image

It said KCAA’s purge had caused irreparable damage to the company’s brand equity, evidenced by mass cancellations of tickets, thus making it impossible for the airline to operate commercially.

“This letter serves as notice of redundancy, taking into account your notice period of one month as per your contract of employment. This notice is effective November 18,” said Silverstone.

It was not clear by the time of going to press how this new development will affect the carrier. Last week, the airline announced it had begun re-booking passengers in other airlines due to flight paucity.

Trouble for the airline began on October 12, when a Silverstone Air Fokker 50 aircraft bound for Mombasa Airport, with continuing service to Lamu Airport, veered off the runway at Wilson Airport, while attempting to take off, with a total of 55 people on board, 50 passengers and five crew members. 

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