JKIA RUNWAY CLOSURE ONCE AGAIN COSTS AIRLINES DEARLY
A landing mishap by reportedly Egypt Air, which according to reports came in long, skidded off the runway and got stuck in the mud, has prompted all incoming and outgoing flights from Nairobis Jomo Kenyatta Airport to be diverted and delayed indefinitely, it was learned two hours ago. No injuries to passengers or crew have been reported as yet and the aircraft, as this report goes to press, is still to be recovered and towed to a parking area for inspection and assessment on airworthiness status.
Long thought by Kenya Airports Authority if not the Kenyan government as a luxury, the need for a second runway has never been more urgent than when the single runway of East Africas most important hub is closed for whatever reason, and today is once again the day when airlines, in particular Kenya Airways, will be counting the cost of the second runway still being years away from even being constructed, as outgoing flights are being delayed and cancelled while inbound traffic has ended up in Mombasa, Eldoret, Entebbe, Kilimanjaro and Dar es Salaam, causing untold interruption of travel schedules for tourists and meeting schedules for business travelers.
A regular and often very outspoken aviation source from JKIA in a call an hour ago had this to say: When are these *@$!%^ +#%&@~! finally going to start that process of getting permission to build a second runway. All good about the new terminals but if aircraft cannot come in or leave that will be in vain. We need that second runway NOW and a day like this will cost the airlines at JKIA millions in extra fuel burn, crews being out of hours after intercontinental flights requiring minimum rest time before they can fly the aircraft from wherever they were diverted to back to Nairobi, full flights not leaving and connections missed at the other end, hotels to be booked for passengers with meals and all and a shouting lot at our hands who will not appreciate that it is not the airlines but the airport at fault. KAA should be privatized and run like a business and all those political appointees should be retired so that the priorities can be identified by the aviation industry and turned into reality. We have for too long been punch bags for the bureaucrats. OK, such an incident can happen but really, w second runway would allow the airport to remain operational. We have no idea how long the clearing will take and then a lot of flights will have to sit in other airports for more time because the crews are no longer legal to fly until they have rested before launching into another tirade of unprintable expletives over having to deal with scores of angry passengers wanting to leave for home or wherever they were scheduled to go and KAA not being able to give any detailed information of the time frame before flight operations can resume.
From reports received from other airports in the region it is clear that their parking capacity, as well as the lounge capacity at these airports and room capacity at nearby hotels is reaching saturation point and that the airlines with representation in these airports are calling in staff from their town offices to deal with the sudden inflow of passengers who may well have to be accommodated until the crews can take them to Nairobi. There, in the meantime, hotels are also filling up and the backlog of passengers is rapidly increasing to all destinations on domestic, regional and intercontinental routes, posing logistical nightmares for operations staff here and at the respective affected airlines home hubs. Watch this space while JKIA is attempting to get traffic underway again.
Meanwhile has Kenya Airways issued the following statement for their passengers and those expecting travelers in Nairobi to give full information on the current situation, unlike any other airline contacted at JKIA:
Wednesday, June 06th 2012
Kenya Airways Statement
Kenya Airways would like to inform its passengers, customers and the public that Jomo Kenyatta International Airport has been closed indefinitely since 0400hrs today Wednesday June 6th 2012, due to a disabled aircraft on the runway.
All Kenya Airways morning arrivals have been diverted to Mombasa, Entebbe and Dar es Salam as below.
Flights diverted to Mombasa international airport includes, KQ311 from Dubai, KQ203 ex Mumbai, KQ101 ex London, KQ466 ex Bujumbura & Kigali, KQ331 ex Jeddah, KQ521 ex Dakar & Abidjan, KQ765 from Johannesburg.
Flights diverted to Entebbe international Airport in Uganda includes, KQ542 ex Lagos & Cotonou, KQ321 exCairo& Khartoum, KQ511 from Freetown &Accra and KQ117 from Amsterdam.
KQ 221 from New Delhi has been diverted to Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar Es Salam.
All departing flights from JKIA Nairobi have been delayed indefinitely.
Kenya Airways station offices in Entebbe, Mombasa and Dar es Salaam have arranged for special handling of passengers affected by the disruptions. We may also experience resultant delays and cancellations as a result this disruption and appeal to our affected passengers for understanding and patience during this period.
All the concerned stakeholders at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport are working to remove the grounded aircraft to ensure normal operations resume.
We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
For further details please contact any Kenya Airways sales office, travel agents or call our 24hr call center on 327 4747 and our website www.kenya-airways.com.
Corporate Communications Office