Two Kenyan pilots and an engineer are currently being held in the Democratic Republic of Congo after they were allegedly abandoned by their employer, Nairobi-based DAC Aviation (EA) LTD.
The three, Captain Isaac Newton Wafula Ouma, First Officer Cornelius Ndeche Oluoch, and Eng. Simon Peter Kuruga have been stuck in the central Africa nation for seven months.
They went to DR Congo last year for work as Echo Flight crew until March when the company’s contract in the country ended.
Captain Ouma in a protest letter says the company stopped processing their salaries in February, a month before its contract expired. They are presently being held up in a hotel over six months’ unpaid bills and rely on handouts from well-wishers.
“We have been having intermittent support on food and transport which now leaves us with 72 days of meal allowance arrears and no company transportation,” captain Ouma said.
They have also been sued for failing to pay a driver who had been driving them around Kalemie area as they picked supplies for months.
Further to this, their aircraft (a Cessna Caravan 208B EX model registration 5Y-DEA) has also been held as collateral by a different company.
“The Congo international flights resumed on 15th Aug 2020, this is why we don’t understand why the company is still keeping us here,” he adds. "Any assistance is highly appreciated."
DAC Aviation (EA) LTD, which is linked to DAC Aviation Canada, is yet to respond to the allegations.