An incident involving a Kenya Airways aircraft caused a temporary runway closure at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi on Tuesday, leading to disruptions in airport operations.

However, swift actions by the authorities ensured the situation was resolved with no reported injuries.

Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) announced, “An aircraft Incident has caused runway closure at JKIA. No injuries have been reported. Removal of the aircraft is underway. We apologise for any inconvenience caused and will provide updates shortly.”

This announcement followed the immobilisation of a Kenya Airways Boeing 737 Freighter on the runway.

The situation began when Kenya Airways received a report from Sharjah Airport Authorities about tyre debris on their runway, suspected to be from one of their aircraft en route from Sharjah to Juba.

In response, Kenya Airways diverted the aircraft to Nairobi. “Kenya Airways confirms that on Tuesday, 11th June 2024, our operations control team received a report from the Sharjah Airport Authorities that there was tyre debris on the runway suspected to be from one of our aircraft, a Boeing 737 Freighter, on a routine operation from Sharjah to Juba,” stated the airline.

Upon arrival at Nairobi, the aircraft performed an overflight to assess the situation.

The operations team confirmed that only one of the six tyres was damaged, allowing for a safe landing.

The aircraft touched down safely at 12:55 p.m. local time.

However, during the braking process, another tyre failed, causing the aircraft to become immobilised on the runway.

With the assistance of the Kenya Airports Authority and the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA), Kenya Airways promptly initiated efforts to replace the damaged tyres and tow the aircraft to safety.

The aircraft was successfully removed from the runway at 2:12 p.m.

“The disabled aircraft has been recovered from the runway, and normal airport operations have resumed. Thank you for your patience and cooperation,” KAA confirmed.

Kenya Airways apologised for the inconvenience caused and emphasised their commitment to safety. 

The prompt response and efficient collaboration between Kenya Airways, KAA, and KCAA ensured minimal disruption to airport operations and highlighted the importance of safety protocols in handling such incidents.