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Kenya's Industrial Court blocks proposed strike; Wataniya Airways launches BusinessFirst

Kenya's Industrial Court granted an injunction blocking the planned strike by Kenya Airways employees. The court certified the application as urgent and directed that it be heard on 21-Oct-2010. The union said about 5,000 members could take part in the strike scheduled to commence on 13-Oct-2010, including employees from other carriers.

Kenya Airways stock price fell to the lowest level in nine months, decreasing 2.3% on speculation over the strike.

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Wataniya Airways, subsidiary of Kuwait National Airways (+1.2), launched BusinessFirst, its new premium cabin brand, replacing its former first class cabin brand. In addition to the new branding, the company is also offering improved flight schedules, 24/7 coverage at its Guest Contact Centre, a Chauffeur Drive service to the Sheikh Saad Terminal, free valet and parking at the airport and a new business centre in the dedicated BusinessFirst lounge. The carrier is has also improved its in-flight services, including new meal menus and entertainment, a broader range of magazines and inflight mobile and internet connectivity.

Meanwhile, Lonrho (-1.9%), Royal Jordanian (-1.8%), Air Arabia (-1%) and 1time (-1%) shares were down while Air Mauritius (+1.5%) gained slightly and Comair remained stable.

Selected African and Middle Eastern airlines share price movements (% change) 11-Oct-2010