KQ barred from evicting rival from JKIA property

Thursday, July 29th, 2021 00:00 | By
748 Air Services aircraft and KQ are locked in a dispute over property at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. Photo/PD/File

A Nairobi court has barred Kenya Airways from evicting 748 Air Services from a property at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) until a matter before it is heard and concluded.

Milimani Commercial Courts Principal Magistrate Agnes Makau also directed JKIA Airport Police Station to enforce the conservatory orders.

“In the interim, a temporary injunction is hereby issued restraining the plaintiff by itself or servants and or agents from interfering with the Applicants quiet enjoyment use and occupation of the suit property pending inter-partes hearing of this application,” ruled Makau.

On Monday, the airline filed an urgent application seeking to stay an order issued on July 16 allowing their eviction from the said disputed property. 

This followed a court application by Kenya Airways on the grounds that it was the registered owner of the property, claiming that 748 Air Services had unlawfully occupied the facility and had refused to vacate it despite numerous demands.

But 748 air services in their recent law suit accused Kenya Airways for malicious damage of its property worth millions of shillings and harassment of employees.

It says that on Friday last week around 15 armed police and more than 50 men raided 748 Plaza along Airport North Road in Embakasi and broke the premises entrance glassdoor and other doors and also removed and damaged office furniture and fittings.

748 Air Services through its managing director, Moses Mwangi informed the court that the Friday afternoon raid has disrupted normal operations at the Embakasi office 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,” he said. 

Important documents

The airline’s personnel of over 200 employees, he argued, are still unable to access the same premises and are not able to trace important documents, records and machinery after the incident. 

“We have always enjoyed peaceful and quiet occupation of the premises since the inception of our lease agreement on February 1, 2021 until the plaintiff and its agents raided our offices on July 23, 2021,” said 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).

The airline was in the process of completing renovations on suit premise before the raid, with renovation costs amounting to the  Sh90 million.

Mwangi said by the time the raid begun, 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 pm before Kenya Airways agents removed his office items.

Kenya Airways claims it had bought the property at a public auction in July 2014 for Sh150 million.

It had previously been owned by African Airlines International (AIK, Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta).

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