18 March 2018

Kenya: Jetways Licence Restored After Security Exposè

Embattled carrier Jetways Airlines has resumed operations after the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) restored its licence, which was revoked two weeks ago to allow for an investigation into alleged security breaches at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).

KCAA director-general Gilbert Kibe told the Business Daily on Friday the regulator cleared the local airline after establishing that the alleged security breaches did not happen from its facility.

"I am stating that the security breach did not happen from Jetways facility or caused by them. They had all requirements for issuance of a regulated agent certificate including the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) customs which are on site and the latest state-of-the-art security screening devices," he said.

"We returned their certificate to them on February 26 after investigations."

The KCAA withdrew Jetways' certificate after an exposè by the Standard newspaper disclosed that they were flying miraa (khat) to Somalia before completion of its premises at the Kenya Airfreight Holding Ltd centre.

The investigations also found that the company's warehouse did not have a KRA customs centre as required by law.

The Standard journalist was also able to access the JKIA's airside despite not having requisite security clearances, exposing a serious breach at the airport just months after being granted Category 1 status, which allows for direct flights to the United States.

This prompted the KCAA to withdraw Jetways' certificate and launch investigations into the claims.

But the circumstances under which the airline's certificate has been restored is still raising eyebrows as Mr Kibe did not go public on the findings of the investigations as promised earlier.

He did not also divulge who was responsible for the breach or why Jetways' name was featured prominently in the security breaches.

"I am not at liberty to disclose to you that kind of information. I don't want to be involved in the rivalry between two competing local airlines," said the KCAA boss.

"It's true that the journalist gained access at the airport facility of the Kenya Airways without getting security permits. He must have paid the security manager."

Kenya

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