Economy

Tycoons start clearing abandoned planes after auction threat

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Aircrafts parked at Wilson Airport. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • Tycoons have started clearing their aircraft currently on auction at various airports across the country after the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) declared them a safety risk.
  • The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) said some have been cleared while others are still lying idle at airports.
  • The KAA, the agency in charge all Kenyan airports, had given the aircraft’s owners 30 days starting August 14 to claim them or have them sold through public auction.

Tycoons have started clearing their aircraft currently on auction at various airports across the country after the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) declared them a safety risk.

The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) said some have been cleared while others are still lying idle at airports.

The KAA, the agency in charge all Kenyan airports, had given the aircraft’s owners 30 days starting August 14 to claim them or have them sold through public auction.

The 101 planes include those owned by politicians for short flights and aircraft that belong to commercial air operators such as Jetlink, 748 Air Services, Silverstone among other operators.

Aircraft belonging to State agencies like Moi University , Kenya Police and Somalia Air force also risk being sold should their owners fail to collect them before the close of the auction period.

The auction plan comes at a time when flights firms continue to struggle with low travel after Kenya resumed air travel in July.

“KAA says they are still within the 30 days period of auction. The exercise is not yet over. Some plane owners have come to clear their aircraft while others have not. It’s work in progress,” said KCAA director-general Gilbert Kibe in an interview Friday.

The abandoned planes are parked at Moi International Airport in Mombasa, Lokichoggio Airport, Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) and Wilson Airport in Nairobi.

Wilson Airport had more than half or 64 of the targeted planes, with five linked to the Kenya Police Air wing, Moi University, Silverstone and Skylink.

JKIA had 17, including a Sh2 billion Bombardier plane belonging to Jetlink, two Soviet-built passenger planes owned by Somali Airforce and two old Boeing plane registered under Jubba Airways.