Fly540 put on the spot over claims of bias against disabled clients

Fly540 staff board a plane at Wilson Airport in Nairobi. PHOTO | FILE
Fly540 staff board a plane at Wilson Airport in Nairobi. PHOTO | FILE 

Parliament put the management of low-cost carrier-Fly 540-on the spot over its alleged discrimination against disabled persons.

The National Assembly Transport committee on Tuesday expressed concern over the rising number of cases claiming the airline’s refusal to fly disabled persons despite having booked their air tickets.

The committee chaired by Starehe MP Maina Kamanda questioned Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia on the measures the ministry has taken to bring to an end the incessant discrimination and ill-treatment of the disabled by airlines.

Nominated MP Isaac Mwaura had sought an answer following the ill-treatment of Mr Muhub Noorani, the proprietor of Rocky Driving School who was denied access to an aircraft on the basis of disability despite having booked the ticket and informed the airline of his disability.

Mr Mwaura asked the CS to explain the action that had been taken to ensure the perpetrators are held culpable.

“This particular airline has been notorious in discriminating persons with disability. There was the case of Reverend Jackson Koskei, Westlands MP Tim Wanyonyi, nominated senator Godliver Omondi, Mr Noorani and a certain doctor who were denied access to Fly 540 planes despite having paid the tickets,” Mr Mwaura said.

He accused the airline of running “a deliberate policy against the disabled” while hiding under the guise of lack of equipment and insurance.

In his response, Mr Macharia said the ministry summoned the management of Fly 540 following a complaint.  He described the unfair treatment of Mr Noorani as “quite unfortunate and regrettable.”