Kenya Airways, the country;s flagship carrier, has resumed normal operations hours after it was forced to cancel five of its Sunday morning flights and delayed others after contracted flight crew did not turn up for work.

A statement from the airline later Sunday said normalcy had returned and by evening 67 flights had already taken off with several evening flights scheduled for departure.

Passengers at Mombasa’s Moi International Airport had to endure delays of more than eight hours.

The airline’s flight 600 from nairobi to Mombasa, flight 432 to Juba, 706 to Lusaka and 740 to Maputo were cancelled after contracted crew failed to report to work.

At Moi International Airport in Mombasa, the same script unfolded as passengers were forced to wait to catch their flights.

The situation left passengers furious with the national airline. Sources revealed that the labour problem started on Friday after 700 outsourced cabin crew and customer service staff neglected their duties to express their grievances to management.

The workers outsourced from Career Directions Limited had vowed not to return to work until their issues were addressed.

By Sunday evening normalcy had returned with several flights taking off, while a number were scheduled for later in the evening.

The statement from the airline said that “67 flights have taken off from around the network as at 4 pm Kenya time”. It added that evening flights were expected to operate as planned and all guests inconvenienced earlier had been taken care of by re-booking them on later flights or alternative routing.

The airline is also staring at another strike threat by pilots who want to force the management out.