Domestic carriers suffer Wilson runway glitch


A section of Wilson Airport. Jet fuel purchases by airlines increased by 11.1 percent last year. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Several domestic carriers have been forced to divert their evening flights to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi following a fault in the runway lights on Thursday at Wilson Airport where they operate from.

Safarilink said the hitch forced it to divert its Kisumu-Nairobi evening flight to JKIA Thursday night.

The airline operates daily flights to Nairobi from Kisumu. Passengers on the evening flight depart Kisumu International Airport at 6 pm to arrive in Nairobi at 7 pm.

"The technical hitch forced us to divert our evening flights to JKIA from Wilson. I'm yet to receive a status report on the same but what I know is that lights on the runway at Wilson have not been fixed," said Safarilink CEO Alex Avedi.

Renegade Air said its night operations at Wilson have also been disrupted. The airline's Sales and Marketing Manager Patrick Oketch called on the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) to move with speed and resolve the problem to minimise operational losses for the domestic carriers.

KAA acting managing director Henry Ogoye, while admitting the failure of lights at Wilson runway, said the authority is working on the issue.

The authority had earlier indicated that efforts were already underway to remedy the situation, further apologising to travellers for the inconvenience caused as a result of the outage.

"We would like to inform the public that the runway at Wilson Airport is currently out of service due to a technical fault. Our team is in the process of identifying the root cause," read a statement by the management of KAA Thursday night.

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