By CYRUS OMBATI and DAVID OHITO
Kenyaâs main airport- the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) that serves as the hub of the East African region has been closed indefinitely affecting dozens of flights scheduled for landing and take-off.
JKIA was thrown into trouble when an Egypt Air flight that was landing at 3am Kenyan time overshot the runway and got stuck midway in mud.
Efforts to remove the plane are on-going with experts teeming the scene to support rescue services.
The plane had 126 passengers and 17 crew members when the accident happened.
JKIA CID officer Joseph Ngisa said all passengers were safely evacuated.
Kenya Airways has issued a statement warning its passengers and customers of the challenges.
âKenya Airways would like to inform its passengers, customers and the public that Jomo Kenyatta International Airport has been closed indefinitely since 0400hrs today Wednesday June 6th 2012, due to a disabled aircraft on the runway.
All Kenya Airways morning arrivals have been diverted to Mombasa, Entebbe and Dar es Salam as below.â A statement from the airline said.
Flights diverted to Mombasa international airport includes, KQ311 from Dubai, KQ203 ex Mumbai, KQ101 ex London, KQ466 ex Bujumbura & Kigali, KQ331 ex Jeddah, KQ521 ex Dakar & Abidjan, KQ765 from Johannesburg.
Flights diverted to Entebbe international Airport in Uganda includes, KQ542 ex Lagos & Cotonou, KQ321 exCairo& Khartoum, KQ511 from Freetown &Accra and KQ117 from Amsterdam.
KQ 221 from New Delhi has been diverted to Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar Es Salam.
All departing flights from JKIA Nairobi have been delayed indefinitely.
Kenya Airways station offices in Entebbe, Mombasa and Dar es Salaam have arranged for special handling of passengers affected by the disruptions.
âWe may also experience resultant delays and cancellations as a result this disruption and appeal to our affected passengers for understanding and patience during this period.â KQ said.
Meanwhile,stakeholders at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport are working to remove the grounded aircraft to ensure normal operations resume.