Kenya Airways Flight With Ruto CS Aborts Landing In JKIA At Last Minute

On board the KQ613 flight with him was East African Community (EAC) Cabinet Secretary (CS) Peninah Malonza.

Kenya Airways Flight With Ruto CS Aborts Landing In JKIA At Last Minute
Image of a Kenya Airways aircraft landing at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi. /FILE

UPDATE: The Kenya Airways flight which was rerouted to Mombasa after it aborted landing at JKIA at the last minute has landed safely back in the capital following a four-hour-30-minute journey for weary passengers.

A Kenya Airways flight that was headed to Nairobi from Mombasa was on Saturday night, April 27 forced to abort landing at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) at the last minute.

This was revealed by Bernard Mwinzi, the Managing Editor (Content Hubs) at the Nation Media Group (NMG) who revealed that the flight was rerouted back to the Moi International Airport in Mombasa.

On board the KQ613 flight with him was East African Community (EAC) Cabinet Secretary (CS) Peninah Malonza.

"Close call, wet pants as Kenya Airways flight number KQ613 from Mombasa to Nairobi aborts landing at last minute. Flight rerouted back to Mombasa. EAC minister Malonza on board with us," he revealed on X while sharing photos of the flight path as shown on board the passenger seat monitor.

Flight path of KQ 613 from Mombasa to Nairobi. /FLIGHTAWARE

Viral Tea's editor-in-chief, Marvin Chege responded seeking to establish what prompted the rerouting, with Mwinzi responding by attributing the move to poor visibility, as per the announcement from the cockpit.

At the time of Mwinzi's response, the plane was refuelling in Mombasa and scheduled to take off again for Nairobi a few minutes before midnight.

Spot checks by Viral Tea on the flight tracking platform Flight Aware revealed that the flight was on approach to JKIA but took off from the airport again, banking right twice and then left before proceeding to Mombasa.

The platform also showed dangerous cloud cover hovering over Nairobi amidst heavy rains in the capital city.

Kenya Airways had yet to issue a statement on the latest development by the time of publishing this article.


What the pilot did in this instance is referred to as a go-around which refers to an aborted landing when the decision to reject the touchdown is made on the final approach.

This timescale encompasses "any point from the final approach fix to wheels on the runway, but prior to any deceleration device being activated," according to SKYbrary

Having decided to abort the landing, an aircraft's pilots must then occupy themselves with the necessary follow-up procedures. Generally, a plane will climb and turn to make another approach, but sometimes, diversions are the move.

Go-arounds can occur for various reasons. The decision to make such a manoeuvre will be based on the assumption that the present conditions could make for an unsafe landing. Some of the most common reasons include:

  • Runway obstructions: Objects such as ground vehicles, wildlife, or other aircraft on the runway can necessitate a go-around.
  • Weather conditions: Flights trying to land in adverse weather will often abort, whether due to alignment problems, poor visibility, or heavy crosswinds.
  • Unstabilized approach: If a flight is having alignment issues with the runway, initiating a go-around and trying again rather than attempting an unsafe landing may be preferred.
  • Congestion: Other aircraft may be attempting to land or take off as a flight is on approach, so air traffic control (ATC) will order the plane to go around.
  • Technical problems: An aircraft may encounter technical issues, such as failed landing gear deployment, which would make landing unsafe.

Go-arounds are often performed on a cautionary basis, but in some cases, they are done at the last second to avert disaster. 

In this instance, the pilot was averting a disaster given that there was poor weather caused by the heavy rainfall that had been witnessed across Nairobi on Saturday night.

A photo of floods witnessed in sections of the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) and passengers whose luggage fell in water at the airport on November 6, 2023. /BONIFACE MWANGI.CRYSTAL SIMEONI