Kenya restricts 29 airlines from flying internationally a day after plane crashes killing all passengers

KCAA director general Gilbert Kibe said the move is aimed at ensuring conformity with best international practices

  • Twenty-nine Kenya-based airlines have been barred from flying to international destinations by Kenya Civil Aviation Authority.
  • 15 approved maintenance organisations (AMOs) have also been restricted from operating internationally
  • The restrictions come just a day after a plane flying from  Kitale to Nairobi with eight passengers and two crew members on board crashed in the Aberdare forest, killing all passengers.

The airlines have now been restricted to domestic operations alone.

KCAA director general Gilbert Kibe said the move is aimed at ensuring conformity with best international practices but declined to reveal the names of the affected airlines and maintenance organisations.

“The Authority will continue to process the certification of the affected operators as is our mandate and urge their cooperation at all times. The travelling public and users of air services are reassured of the safety of air operations and the actions taken by the authorities are aimed at enhancing compliance with regulations as well as fostering the safety and security of the aviation industry in Kenya,” he said.

"I cannot release their names because we need to protect their privacy and business, we do not want the public to believe that the airlines are unsafe to fly with."

Also limited to operate internationally are 15 approved maintenance organisations (AMOs) that will now only offer services to air operators that conduct domestic operations.

Mr Kibe explained that Kenya being a signatory State to the Chicago Convention is obliged to ensure that all activities in the aviation industry are conducted in a manner consistent with the Convention and Annexes thereto.

The airlines will be reviewed again after three months to see if they do meet the set requirements.

Kenya Association of Air Operators chief executive Eutychus Waithaka, said the restrictions are painful but necessary.

“It is in the fourth and fifth phase that they are given an opportunity to demonstrate their ability to fly safely and later awarded their operation certificate,” he said.

The flight test includes an audit of airline’s structure, flight equipment, onboard medical equipment and operation manuals subsequent to licensing.

Mr Waithaka attributed the rush to enforce compliance of air operators to the forthcoming International Civil Aviation Organisation audit scheduled for July.

The restrictions come just a day after an East Africa Safari Express operated plane flying from  Kitale to Nairobi with eight passengers and two crew members on board crashed in the Aberdare forest, Nyandarua County killing all passengers.

On Tuesday evening, Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCCA) Director-General Gilbert Kibe confirmed that the flight registration number 5Y CAC lost contact with the control at 5 PM.

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