Kenya Airways pulls out all stops to deliver stranded passengers to their final destination


(Posted 08th August 2013)

Following the devastating fire yesterday, which brought flight operations at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to a halt, have domestic flights resumed yesterday evening. Several airlines issued statements on when their services, operating out of the unaffected Unit 3 – domestic terminal – would commence.

Kenya Airways carried the largest burden of passengers ending up at different airports and put together swift measures to fly their largest aircraft on the fleet, the B777-200, to Mombasa last evening to uplift passengers who had still remained in Kenya’s coastal city, where the airline booked them into hotels.

While some 200 passengers had opted to accept an offer for road transport to Nairobi, many others were uplifted on the evening flights to Jomo Kenyatta International, from where they can now start their holidays, resume their business plans or else, when international flights commence again in the morning, fly to their onward destinations.

Chris Diaz, Director of Marketing of the airline, responded – like all other key staff during the cause of the day – in an exemplary fashion by Twitter:

777 200 leaves for msa tonite from nbi
06:15 PM – 07 Aug 13

International KQ flights land in nbi tomorow morn
06:15 PM – 07 Aug 13

Certain flights we start to fly in steps
06:15 PM – 07 Aug 13

KQ team has worked with stakeholders to start flying tonite to msa
06:17 PM – 07 Aug 13

From a regular source at JKIA it was also learned that it was all hands on deck at Kenya Airways to plan for contingencies and ensure that passengers ending up in the wrong places in the morning of the 07th August would be rebooked on the earliest possible flights to their final destination, or as in this case, brought to Nairobi.

Meanhwile have sources from the Kenyan tourism industry and from across society, hailed the courage and bravery of the first responders in the early stages of the fire, and commended the staff of airlines who assisted passengers already in the arrival hall, or waiting to be processed at immigration at the time, to get away from the fire.

From information out of Nairobi it is clear that there were no casualties and while some cases of smoke inhalation had to be treated in hospital, no major injuries were reported either.

The fire investigation is now ongoing, to establish what could have led to the outbreak and subsequent rapid spread of the inferno across the upper floor of the arrival building, as airlines, shops, banks and other service providers with offices in the area outside customs and the floors above are counting and documenting their losses to file insurance claims. Watch this space later in the night when information is expected about the resumption of regional and international flights in and out of JKIA, where temporary processing facilities for travellers are being established to process them through immigration and customs.

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