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KQ allays fears over safety record

NAIROBI, May 4 – National carrier Kenya Airways (KQ) has allayed fears over the airline’s safety record and instead reassured that the airline is safe.

This follows media reports that the International Air Transport Association (IATA) had planned a meeting with the national airline to discuss its safety standards.

“We are a safe airline, we are a responsible airline and in the event that we feel that we are faced by unsafe working conditions or operating conditions we will not fly,” KQ’s Chief Executive Officer Titus Naikuni said on Sunday.

A local newspaper had published reports over the airline’s safety quoting an Internal Safety Report.

He said: “It was unfortunate the report was distorted to create panic and fear amongst our over 3 million annual passengers who fly across our network. It is also an attack on integrity of the 4,200 employees who work tirelessly to maintain the highest standard.”

According to the newspaper article titled ‘IATA takes up KQ safety fears’, top officials of IATA were due to meet in Nairobi to discuss the safety standards of the national carrier.

The article had reported that the meeting would be discussing a confidential safety report prepared by the airline that was leaked to the media.

The report was forwarded to the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA).

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However, Naikuni said that they had not received any summons to attend any IATA and travel agents meeting to discuss its safety standards.

“No such meeting took place for the simple reason that IATA has no documented safety issues with KQ contrary to what has been implied,” he said.

Naikuni clarified that only the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) is mandated through an Act of Parliament and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) conventions to summon airlines to discuss safety matters.

He confirmed that a routine licensing meeting is scheduled to take place on May 12.

“This meeting is convened by the KCAA from time to time to discuss and review new licenses and route applications by airlines. It is not a safety meeting since KCAA has other channels and forums through which it deals with such matters,” a statement from the airline read in part.

Meanwhile, IATA Regional Country Manager Hassim Pondor clarified that there is no meeting scheduled between Kenya Airways and IATA.

“Kenya Airways was the first Sub-Saharan African carrier to be IOSA registered in 2005 and this was renewed in October 2007 and the registration is valid for a period of two years,” he said.

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