A Nairobi court has granted 748 Air Services stay orders barring national carrier Kenya Airways (KQ) and its agents from further executing eviction orders against the airline.

The private airline had on Monday filed a legal suit against KQ for malicious damage of its property worth millions of shillings and harassment of its employees at JKIA premises.

“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 inter-partes hearing of this application,” said Milimani Commercial Court’s Principal Magistrate, A.N. Makau.

The Nairobi court also directed the Commandant at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) to ensure Kenya Airways strictly complies with the issued orders.

748 Airline Services plane. PHOTO/COURTESY

In its suit, 748 Air Services said that last Friday around 15 armed police officers and more than 50 men raided 748 Plaza along Airport North Road in Embakasi and broke its entry glass door and other doors before removing and damaging office furniture and fittings.

In an affidavit dated July 26, 2021, 748 Air Services MD Moses Mwangi said the afternoon raid disrupted their normal operations at their Embakasi office causing it huge losses.

748 Airline Services offices. PHOTO/COURTESY

“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 more than 200 employees were 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 1st February, 2021 until the plaintiff and its agents raided our offices on 23rd July 2021,” he added.

748 Airline Services plane. PHOTO/COURTESY

He added that 748 Air Services had been paying rent for 748 Plaza premised on land number LR. No.9042/583 to African Airlines International limited (formerly African Express Airways International Limited).

The airline company also said it was in the process of completing renovating the premises at JKIA to the tune of Sh90 Million before the said raid.

The firm claims it did not receive any court order directing it to vacate the premises and only learnt of an order served to the landlord, Captain Musa Hassan Bulhan - MD, Africa Express Airways (K) Limited and African International Airlines Limited - at 4.00pm before KQ agents removed items from their office.

In a certificate of urgency, 748 Air Services is seeking to be heard on priority basis as the court orders issued on July 16 continued to have adverse effect on the airline’s operations.

748 Airline Services plane. PHOTO/COURTESY

748 Air Services, however, assured its passengers that all domestic flights to Kisumu, Mombasa and Diani as well as cargo services would continue as scheduled.

“We encourage our customers to continue booking their flights through our new Office in the city center (Laico) and other digital avenues,” added Mwangi