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Air Italy

Air Italy plane makes an emergency landing in Mombasa

Chris Mburu, eTN Ambassador, Kenya  Dec 31, 2008

Panic gripped passengers on board of Italian airliner when it developed a mechanical problem, soon after take off from the Moi International Airport (MIA), Mombasa.

202 passengers on board Air Italy Boeing 757 had boarded the plane headed to Milan but an hour later, while still at the Kenyan airspace, the flaps failed to open.

Mr Protus Baraza, an Air Italy Kenya representative, told the media that the plane, which was a scheduled flight, had arrived from Italy at 11am on Sunday, December 28.

He said that after passengers boarded the plane, it took off at 1pm on Monday, but developed the mechanical problem an hour later.

“When the control tower officials called, we have advised them to find a
way of landing since they could not go far,” he said.

The official however added that the plane had to burn fuel. ”The plane had to circle over the airport for two hours. Things went well since we did not have to call for fire engines and emergency crews” he said.

The plane made a safe landing, with the passengers led to the waiting bay, while airport officials and staff went to inspect and rectify the problem.

Engineers spent Monday night working on the problem. Mr Baraza said the problem had been sorted out and the tourists were asked to board again for their flight.

The Moi International Airport Manager in charge of operations, Ms Jedi Masibo, said they had been alerted over the issue and had been on standby for any emergency.

“When we were informed, all we could have done was to prepare in case anything went wrong but fortunately, all was well,” she said.

The airport has been busy with tourist charter flights this festive season. Domestic tourists have also invaded the Kenyan coast, forcing local carriers like Kenya Airways to increase flights to Mombasa and Malindi towns.

Air Italy plane makes an emergency landing in Mombasa
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