At least 35 passengers who had boarded Air Uganda flight to Nairobi were brought back to Entebbe International Airport after Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) closed over a huge fire that broke out at the arrival terminal.
The passengers who had boarded at around 6:00am were brought back to Entebbe and were instructed to go back home.
A worker at the airport who preferred anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter revealed that three flights had been destined to Nairobi. Two were Kenya Airways flights and one was by Air Uganda.
The official went on to say that one of the Kenya Airways flights took off at 6:00am.
The second Kenya Airways flight 410 was still checking in passengers with 40 already approved when the news spread all over. The passengers were then advised to return home until further notice.
The other Kenya Airways flight scheduled to come at 9:00am and leave 10:00am was diverted but the situation at Entebbe Airport remained normal with Entebbe International Airport expecting more flights that hadn’t come in by press time.
Air Uganda spokesman Jackie Tumuhairwe said they couldn’t land anywhere when the Airport closed and that is the reason to why they returned to Entebbe International Airport.
She further said that normally Air Uganda has three flights and the airline is currently negotiating with Wilson Airport to take the passengers in the afternoon flight.
Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said they were still compiling data to discover how many flights will be affected.
This was confirmed by the CAA spokesman Vian Ludgya on phone.
The fire at Jomo Kenyatta airport is said to have started at around 4:00am.
The cause of the fire is still unknown but major services were affected and staff was evacuated.
President Uhuru Kenyatta visited the airport to inspect damage caused by fire. Interior & Coordination of National Government Joseph Ole Lenku said security had been heightened at the airport and efforts were being done to ensure operations resume as soon as possible.
He said flights coming into JKIA have been diverted to Mombasa and transiting passengers have been taken to hotels.