Jet-Set trouble at Malindi airport


(Posted 18th January 2014)

Reports have emerged from Kenya that the jet of Flavio Briatore, former F1 Renault team chief and owner of the Lion in the Sun and the Billionaires Resort in Malindi, suffered a mishap while parked at the airport of the resort town.

Local Kenyan media reports suggest – regular sources from Malindi were unavailable to comment directly – that the parked aircraft suddenly moved towards a drainage ditch, shortly after another scheduled flight from Nairobi had landed though no one has as yet attributed the jet wash of the incoming aircraft as being the cause of the ‘move’.

It was also not possible to ascertain if the wheel chokes, which are normally placed in front and behind a parked aircraft’s wheels, had been removed or if the aircraft’s parking brakes had malfunctioned. The incident happened yesterday not long after mid day and added efforts to obtain details if the plane suffered any damage during the incident also yielded no immediate responses.

Briatore was in Kenya to officially open his new Billionaires Resort in December and was according to the reports seen due to leave this weekend back to Italy.

Malindi has over the past two decades become a favourite beach destination for Italian tourists and many have purchased or build themselves holiday homes or beach side villas and a number of Italian investors opened resorts, making Italian the third most spoken language in Malindi after Kiswahili and English. The Malindi airport renovation and modernization has enabled the use of smaller jets like the Embraer 190 or Bombardiers’ CRJ series, which now link the coastal town with Nairobi. The runway however presently does not cater for larger jets which could open up Malindi for nonstop flights from Europe, sparing tourists the lengthy road journey from Mombasa, the nearest international airport catering for wide bodied aircrafts landing and taking off with full loads.