Nairobi airport back operating at full capacity

Nairobi airport back operating at full capacity

Full flight operations were expected to have been resumed by last night at Nairobi’s main international airport following a blaze which destroyed its main arrivals hall.

Several international departures and arrivals had been completed at Jomo Kenyatta international airport by midday on Thursday and dozens were scheduled for the late evening.

Kenya Airways was operating at around 35% of capacity in the wake of Wednesday morning’s fire, but was expected to return to full service by late yesterday.

Video: Associated Press

Government transportation secretary Michael Kamau told the New York Times: “We expect that the normal flow of passengers will be restored from midnight. We are back on our feet.”

He said arriving passengers would be temporarily routed to the state pavilion at the airport, normally reserved for visiting presidents and heads of state.

The Kenyan government wants to assure travelers of their safety, he added, “even though the level of comfort is not what they expect”.

The fire coincided with the anniversary of the coordinated bombings of the American Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in August 1998, which killed more than 200 people.

But Kenyan officials have been reluctant to suggest any link to terrorism, although an investigation into the cause of the fire is still in its infancy.

Kenyan officials also said that some of the emergency services on the scene had engaged in looting during and after the fire, the Associated Press reported.

Some stole from an automated teller machine, and police officers guarding the site overnight tried to take a safe from a bank in the charred arrivals hall, officials told the news agency.


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