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Kenya Airways and 748 Air Services Lock Horns Over Property Ownership

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A Court in Nairobi issued a ‘temporary injunction’ order that would restrain Kenya Airways (KQ) from evicting charter operator 748 Air Services from its premises at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

This comes after the charter operator filed a lawsuit against KQ accusing the legacy carrier for malicious damage of its property worth millions of shillings and the 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 Courts, Principal Magistrate, A.N. Makau.

In an affidavit dated July 26, 2021, 748 Air Services Managing Director, Moses Mwangi said the raid disrupted normal operations at the JKIA offices and left the airline with significant losses.

The actions of the plaintiff have caused and continue to cause great losses to our company, being an airline that has recently launched domestic flights to Kisumu, Mombasa and Diani,” said Mwangi.

The airline says its personnel of over 200 employees were also affected, not able to trace important documents, records and machinery.

According to Mwangi, 748 Air Services has been paying rent for the 748 Plaza premised on the parcel of land no. LR. No.9042/583 to African Airlines International limited (formerly African Express Airways International Limited).

He says the airline was in the process of completing renovations on suit premise before the raid, with renovation costs amounting to the tune of Sh.90 million ($800,000).

748 Air Services had not been served an order to vacate the premises and had only learnt of an order served on the premises landlord, Captain Musa Hassan Bulhan, Managing Director, Africa Express Airways (k) Limited and African International Airlines Limited at 4.00 p.m before Kenya Airways agents removed his office items,” said the airline’s manager.

748 Air Services is seeking to be heard on priority basis, because the orders issued on 16th of July 2021 continue to have far reaching adverse impacts.

On the other hand, Milimani Commercial Courts Principal Magistrate DM Kivuti on July 16, 2021, ordered the JKIA Airport police to enforce orders, following a court application filed by Kenya Airways on grounds that the national carrier was the registered owner of the property and claiming that 748 Air Services had unlawfully occupied the facility and refused to vacate it despite numerous demands.

There is no justification, contractual or otherwise to anchor the defendant’s continued occupation to vacate the property,” Kenya Airways said in an affidavit, accompanied by a copy of its title deed. The airline said it had issued eviction notices to 748 Air Services, which had sub-leased the property without notice or consent.

The court order restrained the defendant (748 Air Services) from further trespassing, occupying, using, entering, or using the property pending a hearing. Kenya Airways claims to have bought the property at a public auction in July 2014 for KES150 million shilling (USD1.3 million), property previously been owned by African Airlines International.

 

Source: The Standard Kenya

 

By Victor Shalton Odhiambo

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