KQ Nairobi-London flight forced to return after passenger falls ill

A Kenya Airways (KQ) flight en route to Nairobi, Kenya, from London, United Kingdom, was forced to turn back to Heathrow Airport after an ‘incident’ on Monday afternoon.

The pilot declared an emergency soon after take-off after a passenger suffered from a “medical emergency”.

The flight was already well way into its journey when it made a U-turn and returned to its point of departure, said the national airline in a statement.

“Kenya Airways Plc confirms that on Monday, 9th October 2023, at around 13:56hrs KQ100 operating from London to Nairobi, had to turn back to London’s Heathrow Airport for a medical emergency after a passenger was taken ill,” the statement read in part.

The national carrier said the crew on board provided first aid to the passenger and the Captain opted to return to London for the passenger to receive further medical attention.

“The aircraft landed safely at 14:47hrs and was received by medical personnel. The passenger was taken to hospital to receive further medical attention,” it said.

“We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience caused. The safety of our crew and customers is our number one priority.”

Flight tracking website, Aviation Source News said on its website that the Kenya Airways Boeing 787 between Nairobi-London Heathrow had declared an emergency over Paris.

On February 15, a Kenya Airways Boeing 787-8 flight scheduled to fly from London Heathrow to Jomo Kenyatta Airport at 10:15 GMT was forced to turn back ten minutes after takeoff. It was suspected that aircraft faults caused the return to Heathrow.

KQ has blamed the aircraft manufacturer for the flight disruptions.

According to eyewitnesses, the aircraft appeared to circle over South East London for about half an hour, flew towards the Channel, and continued to circle the air for another 20 minutes. The flight eventually headed towards Heathrow and made an emergency landing at 11:48am.

The technical issues experienced by the airline affected other airlines with the same aircraft models. Kenya Airways stated in response to Business Daily.

“The technical issues affecting some of our fleets also affect similar fleet types and ages worldwide. The above issues have no relationship with the current industry shortage of parts, as all maintenance schedules are being adhered to.”

The turnaround was due to a slat skew fault, which does not create a safety risk, but the airline had to take a precautionary measure and head back to Nairobi. Kenya Airways said in a statement.


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