Kenya Airways (KQ) paid more than Sh400 million to five expatriates in 13 months, documents show.
Documents seen by The Star indicate that the five foreign consultants hired to help revive the loss-making airline in 2017 earned between Sh3.6 million and Sh5.4 million a month.
Cumulatively, the five Polish nationals pocketed over Sh400.2 million in salaries in only 13 months.
The five consultants included Michal Smierciak, Grzegorz Malysz, Magdalena Serwach, and Piotr Piwowarczyk.
They were part of a team recruited by former CEO Sebastian Mikosz, also a Polish national, to turnaround the national carrier’s fortunes.
But despite drawing huge salaries and allowances, their strategy flopped as the airline company continued to post huge losses running into billions of shillings. Kenya Airways recorded a loss of Sh12.98 billion for the year 2019 and Sh7.56 billion in 2018.
Mikosz joined the cash-strapped national carrier on June 1st, 2017, and was tasked with turning around the airline’s fortunes.
His three-year contract was set to end in June 2020 but he left the company on December 31st, 2019, and was replaced by Allan Kilavuka, who previously served as Jambojet CEO.
Mikosz pocketed over Sh10 million in exit package from the airline. A KQ annual report said the amount was compensation to him for leaving the airline before the expiry of his contract.
“We are grateful to Sebastian for steering the airline through the headwinds and ensuring the airline continued to pursue its strategy. We wish him well in his future endeavors,” KQ chairman Michael Joseph said in the report.
In 2018, Mikosz earned a total of Sh62.89 million including Sh42 million salary, Sh16.43 million allowances, and non-cash benefits amounting to Sh4.44 million.
Mikosz was paid Sh40.06 million in basic salary in 2019, Sh29.02 million allowances, and non-cash benefits totaling Sh10.98 million.
In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, Kenya Airways plans to lay off hundreds of workers among them pilots and flight attendants in a bid to cut costs.