Kenya Stowaway Falls To Death From Plane In South-West London


The body of a suspected stowaway who fell to his death from a Kenya Airways plane landed next to a man sunbathing in his garden in south-west London, a neighbour said.

Police believe the victim fell into the property in Clapham from the landing gear compartment of a plane heading to Heathrow Airport.

A neighbour told the Press Association news agency that he heard a “whomp” when the body hit the ground on Sunday afternoon, and went upstairs to look out of a window.

“At first I thought it was a tramp asleep in the garden. He had all of his clothes on and everything,” the neighbour, who asked not to be named, was quoted as saying.

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“I had a closer look and saw there was blood all over the walls of the garden.

“His head was not in a good way. I realised immediately that he had fallen.

“So I went outside and it was just then the neighbour came out and he was very shaken.

“He had been sunbathing and he landed one metre away from him.”

A photograph published in The Sun newspaper on Tuesday showed paving stones in the garden smashed and the ground dented.

Describing the victim, the neighbour added: “One of the reasons his body was so intact was because his body was an ice block.”

Police said on Monday that a bag, water and some food was found in the landing gear compartment of the plane once it arrived at Heathrow.

Officers are now working to identify the victim.

Many stowaways do not survive due to the lack of oxygen and freezing temperatures in the wheel-wells of aircraft flying at high altitude.

Several bodies have been found along the Heathrow flight path in west London, according to aviation expert Alastair Rosenschein.

“The problem occurs because of lack of security at a number of airports around the world and also the immigration draw,” he told BBC radio.

“It is believed that these are primarily illegal immigrants who are trying to get into this country by climbing into the undercarriage bay of aircraft.”


Kenya Airways Seeks To Run Main Nairobi Airport To Boost Earnings


Kenya Airways is close to winning approval to run the country’s main airport in Nairobi, looking to copy a model that has enabled rivals to overtake it, its chairman said on Monday.

Michael Joseph said the loss-making airline had proposed forming a special purpose vehicle with state-run Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) allowing the airline to run Jomo Kenyatta International Airport for a minimum of 30 years.

Kenya Airways, which is owned 48.9 percent by the government and 7.8 percent by Air France/KLM, had $2 billion of debt restructured by the government and shareholders last year and it is planning new routes as it tries to recover from years of losses.

The plan to run Jomo Kenyatta airport is vital for the national flag carrier’s survival as it has faced limited choices after last year’s financial restructuring, Joseph said.

“All our competitors are state-owned, state-controlled, state subsidised and managed for the benefit of the airline. We are the odd one out,” he told Reuters.

The carrier also faces stiff competition from state-backed carriers, including Gulf-based Qatar and Emirates.

Joseph said the cabinet discussed the proposal and gave the “go-ahead” last week. Transport Minister James Macharia declined to comment when asked by Reuters if the proposal had been approved by the cabinet.

The plan to change Kenya Airways’ model, which will require parliamentary approval, will be finalised some time this year, Joseph said.

The Jomo Kenyatta airport is owned by the KAA, which has run it until now.

Kenya Airways proposes to pay the airport authority concession fees and to run other profitable services at the airport including catering, fuel distribution, cargo and ground services facilities and maintenance. The concession fees have not yet been agreed upon.

As the airport operator, Kenya Airways would have a say on takeoff and landing slots, though Joseph denied that is the aim.

Joseph cited Ethiopian Airlines, which uses a similar model to the proposed one at its hub in Addis Ababa.

Kenya Airways Refuses To Suspend Flights Over Ebola

Kenya AirwaysKenya Airways has rejected pressure to suspend its flights to the Ebola-hit states of West Africa.

This is coming after the World Health Organisation, WHO – which declared a global health emergency last week – recently said that the risk of transmission of Ebola during air travel remained low, as the disease is not airborne.

This has been eliciting reactions from the media in Kenya.

Mutuma Mathiu in The Daily Nation describes the move as “reckless” while The Star says the airline is “holding on to its lucrative West African routes as if they were the only business on its portfolio”.

The Standard notes that while it makes business sense for Kenya Airways to take advantage of West African destinations, the “economic escapade could be costly.”

However, George Bodo in Kenya’s Business Daily recalls the carrier’s ailing share prices, and says that in calling on Kenya Airways to suspend nearly half of its high-margin flights, someone should, ideally, be ready with some form of compensation.

Fire Closes Kenya’s International Airport In Nairobi

A fire engulfed Kenya’s main airport on Wednesday, choking a vital travel and trade gateway to east Africa, witnesses and officials said.

Firefighters struggled to contain the blaze at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, the region’s busiest, that started early in the morning in the immigration section of the departure lounge and spread to the international arrivals area, officials said.

Huge plumes of black smoke billowed from the airport buildings, but there were no immediate reports of casualties.

The cause of the fire was not yet known.

“We are still fighting to contain the fire. Investigations will start immediately after,” Michael Kamau, cabinet secretary for transport, told reporters at the airport.

“The fire started at a very central part of the airport and this made access difficult. But we have closed the airport indefinitely as we try to contain the fire.”

Hundreds of passengers were stranded outside the airport, which was cordoned off to keep the public out.

“People should not come to the airport while this work is ongoing. No casualties have been reported and the fire fighters are doing a good job. Safety is paramount,” Cabinet Secretary for the Interior Joseph ole Lenku said, adding that security had been heightened at the airport after the fire started.

The fire comes less than 48 hours after a fuel jet pump failure caused huge delays at the airport.

Kenya Airways’, one of the leading airlines in the region which uses the airport as its main hub, said on its Twitter feed that it was diverting flights to Kenya’s port city of Mombasa and that transit passengers were being taken to hotels.

Other airlines are expected to divert flights to Mombasa and to neighboring countries including in Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda.