KQ flight from Nairobi to London diverted from Heathrow to Stansted Airport

A Kenya Airways flight from Nairobi to London was on Thursday afternoon diverted from Heathrow to Stansted Airport.

Kenya Airways released a statement confirming the incident.

“On Thursday 12 October 2023, at around 10:30hrs, KQ headquarters received an alert on a potential security threat onboard KQ100 operating from London Heathrow,” read part of the statement.

It adds that KQ management, in conjunction with security authorities from both Kenya and the UK, carried out a thorough risk assessment of the threat before the aircraft landed safely at Stansted Airport in London for security clearance.

According to AviationSource News, there have been unconfirmed reports of bomb disposal units on their way to assist on the ground.

Stansted, a military installation is the designated airport for dealing with security issues in the United Kingdom. The facility’s proximity to key RAF bases allows key resources to be swiftly deployed while the size of the location enables potential risks to be isolated from other areas.

According to Flightradar24 data, the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner departed Nairobi at 9:18 am, after a 13-minute delay. The aircraft was flying at 17,000 over the English Channel before descending as it travelled north along the east coast of Kent.

The aircraft continued to descend along the North Sea coast and began flying over Essex. It continued its descent onto Stansted, arriving at its designated stand by 14:52 local time (16:45 Kenyan time).

Daniel Rees, a reporter with The Gazette, took to X and described the ongoing situation saying that there was a huge police presence and witnesses told him that they had seen bomb disposal units en route to the airport.

“I had just passed Stansted and was heading towards Colchester. There were bomb disposal cars swerving in and out of traffic on the A120,” a witness told him.

The Aeroplane started descending at 14:05 UTC before it was diverted.

In yet another incident earlier today, a Scoot Boeing 787 was diverted following a reported bomb threat. The aircraft was flying between Singapore and Perth. The aircraft returned to its departing airport for authorities to deal with the situation.

The latest incident comes a day after it was announced that the United Kingdom’s King Charles III and his wife Queen Camilla will make a four-day state visit to Kenya at the end of this month.

President William Ruto invited the royal couple for the visit, which comes as the African nation prepares to celebrate 60 years of independence from Britain in December.

“The King and Queen will undertake a State Visit to Kenya, from October 31 to Friday November 3, 2023, to celebrate the warm relationship between the two countries and the strong and dynamic partnership they continue to forge,” said the palace.

“The King and Queen will visit Nairobi City County, Mombasa County and surrounding areas.”

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