, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 6 – Operations resumed at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport after nine hours of interruption caused by an EgyptAir aircraft 849 plane that veered off the runway and got stuck while landing on Wednesday morning.
Officials at the largest and busiest airport in East Africa for local and international flights said the plane, was eventually pulled away at about noon and most of the scheduled flights at the time took off.
The Kenya Airports Authority said the plane was carrying 123 passengers from Cairo, when it overshot the runway at 3.30am.
“This is to confirm that normal operations at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport resumed from noon today after the obstacle was cleared from the runway,” a KAA statement said.
Earlier, all flights that were scheduled to land at JKIA were diverted to the Moi International Airport in Mombasa while others were directed to land in Uganda and Tanzania. No flights were able to take off for nine hours.
“I arrived here at 6am; I was waiting for someone to land. Then I overheard that there was a stuck plane. Later I was called and told she will land in Mombasa. But I am waiting to see what next, “said Esther Freshia from Nairobi who was waiting for her cousin at the airport.
According to police, no casualty was reported in the early morning mishap as all the passengers and crew was evacuated to safety.
Even as normal operations resumed at the airport, passengers affected demanded compensation for inconveniences caused to them during the nine hours they stayed at the airport.
The passengers on both domestic and international destinations say they had been inconvenienced, and were likely to face even more hassles while connecting flights, after the delay caused by the incident.
“I was travelling to Dubai, and my flight was schedule to take off at 10.30am. Now I have to seat here and take tea or soda for some time because I don’t know what they are doing. We feel disappointed because we reach there very late. We have a big problem,” complained Beatrice Nyambura from Nairobi.
Tom Okumu who was headed to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania for a Job interview may have lost the chance after the delay.
“I was going to Dar es Salaam; 4.30am I was here. Now I have stayed up to this time. We were just hanging in there waiting for information. Then they came and told us that whoever wants to change the flight can change or wait. And I have to wait; I have no option, “complained Okumu from Nakuru.
However Kenya Civil Aviation Authority Corporate Communications Manager Mutia Mwandikwa pledged to make public an investigation report of the incident that caused delays in the region’s largest airport which serves as a hub for international flights.
“Investigators were called in. They are assessing the ground. Right now we have to wait for the investigators to tell us what happened and come up with recommendations, “said Mwandikwa without giving any timeline.