The Court suspends Kenya Airways removal of 748 Air Services

In the continuation of the property dispute between Kenya Airways and the 748 Air Services, the Kenyan court Milomani made a contradictory verdict on its previous order to evict the 748 from the facilities of the Kenya national airlines.

The court has now ordered Kenya Airways to halt the evacuation process of the 748 operators from their facilities following 748 Air’s legal suit against the national carrier on 26th July 2021. The 784 Air filed a legal suit against the Kenyan national airlines for the damage of their property worth millions of shillings and harassment of its employees.

A while ago, Kenya Airways won an eviction order against the 748 Air in  Kenyan court, Milimani Commercial, on 16th July 2021. The court had ordered the removal of the 748 operators to the JKIA Airport police station following the verdict.

Unlawful Violation?

The Kenyan national airlines had made a serious accusation against the 748 Air claiming that the 748 operators had unlawfully occupied the facility owned by the national carrier. The national carrier claimed that the 748 operators refused to vacate the facilities despite numerous demands from the airlines.

In a written affidavit to the ch-aviation, Kenya Airways stated

“There is no justification, contractual or otherwise, to anchor the defendant’s continued occupation to vacate the property,”

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The 748 Air was accused of ignoring the issued eviction notice by Kenya Airways and subleasing the facilities without notice or consent to the national carrier. 

Under the jurisdiction of Principal Magistrate DM Kivuti, the court issued the restraining orders to the 748 Air on 16th July 2021  restricting the further trespassing, occupying, or using the disputed property pending a hearing. According to the documents presented to the court, the national airlines bought the property previously owned by African Airlines International at a public auction in July 2014 for 150 million shillings. 

Temporary Eviction Restraining 

After celebrating the win just a few days ago, 748 Air held Kenya Airways liable for millions in property damage and employee harassment in a turnaround event. Kenya Airways has now been restrained from evicting the 748 Air Services, following 748’s accusation after the triumph of Kenya Airways on the same court in mid-July.

This time, a different Millamia Commercial Court judge passed the temporary injunction on 26th July 2021, constraining the national airlines from advancing their eviction procedure of the 748 operators pending an inter-partes hearing of the dispute on the future dates. The court also issued an order to the Police Chief of the JKIA Airport police station to ensure the compliance of the new orders in the premises. 

In the lawsuit against Kenya Airlines, the 748 Air’s Managing Director, Moses Mwangi, stated that Kenya Airways had not served the carrier any eviction orders. Despite that, the armed police officers from the JKIA station raided the disputed premises on 23rd July 2021. The officers reportedly had shattered the entrance glass door of the premises, damaging the furniture and fittings of the office interior and mishandling and harassing the staff in the eviction process.

Besides thrashing the office property, the harsh conduct from the police force also disrupted the day-to-day normal service and operations, pushing the 748 Air towards significant losses. Following the raid without any prior notice, the  748 employees could not trace back their important documents, records, and machinery that were damaged or harmed during the raid.

According to Mwangi, 748 had already agreed upon the facility’s lease with its previous occupant, African Airlines International, on 1st February 2021. He further added the 748 premises had been enjoying the peaceful and quiet occupation until they got into the property dispute resulting in a full force break-in from the defendant side.

Since the raid from the armed officers from the JKIA team, the 748 Air Service started encouraging its clients to book for the service online or from its downtown branch, continuing its services amidst the disputes.

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