Kenya aviation news update – Anti KQ Facebook site ‘laughed off’


Following the incident last week when a Ugandan opposition leader was denied boarding while the airline investigated reports that their flight would be denied landing in Entebbe – sufficiently explained later on and at least in aviation circles accepted as a prudent decision – a group of Uganda’s opposition activists has now resorted to creating a Facebook page ‘Boycott Kenya Airways 4 Violanting Dr. Kiiza Besigye’s rights’. Besides the obvious spelling error, pointing to the haste and incoherence in setting this up, the effort is widely regarded as a waste of cyberspace, and a ‘cyber bar’ where ranters and ravers find an outlet to vent their anger against all and sundry with comments often not even relevant to this event.

Said a regular aviation source to this correspondent yesterday: ‘Facebook is becoming a safe haven for all sorts of people wanting to also say something. At times Facebook takes them off because they are not just a nuisance but breaking the law by calling for criminal acts. The impact of this will be very little, hardly felt probably because Kenya Airways is the leading airline in the region and just got caught up in this almost by accident. When an operations department gets word that a flight might be sent back without landing because of a certain passenger on board, they have to act to avoid all other passengers getting delayed. In this case it appears that KQ was eventually given the assurance that they would be able to land in Entebbe with that passenger on board but by that time the flight had left. They rebooked the man and then he refused, he even refused to go with Air Uganda for reasons best known to himself.

Kenya Airways offers the most connections between Nairobi and Entebbe and has been flying there through thick and thin. Air Uganda now flies about three times a day most days and 540 flies about twice a day. So people have a choice and option which airline to use and still KQ is market leader. In fact many Ugandans own shares in Kenya Airways and are not going to sell them over something like this.’

Another aviation regular had this to say: ‘…best to keep politics out of business. This was unfortunate but some are making a fuss out of it for their own ends, like the EastAfrican because of their affiliation with Air Uganda. This is known but not many talk about it. They have tried to talk funny things about KQ in the past and it never worked like they intended. So really, this is a passing cloud’.

True enough, as this correspondent will continue to fly the ‘Pride of Africa’ regardless. Happy Landings.