Kenya Airways plane lands safely after tyres damage


A KQ cargo plane. 

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Flights in and out of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi were on Tuesday afternoon disrupted and hundreds of passengers were stranded after a Kenya Airways (KQ) plane stalled on the single runway for one hour and 17 minutes.

KQ said in a statement Tuesday that it had diverted the Boeing 737 freighter to Nairobi after it received an alert from Sharjah International Airport in Dubai that there was tyre debris on the runway shortly after the cargo plane took off. The plane was headed for Juba, South Sudan.

“Upon arrival in Nairobi, the aircraft did an overflight, and our team ascertained that the aircraft had adequate wheels for a safe landing as only one out of six wheels was damaged,” KQ said.

During the overflight manoeuvre, pilots lowered the gear for technicians on the ground to assess the plane.

“The aircraft touched down safely at 12.55 pm local time, but while breaking and slowing down, one of the other tyres failed which made the aircraft immobilised on the runway,” the airline said.

The aircraft was successfully towed from the runway at 2.12 pm.

“We apologise for any inconvenience caused and reiterate the safety of our crew and customers is our number one priority,” KQ added.

JKIA, which serves as the KQ hub, is one of the largest airports in the region and handles about 7.8 million passengers annually. The airport has, however,  depended on a single runway built over four decades ago. Efforts to expand the facility have often ended in controversies.

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