Kenya Airways Plane Forced to Turn Around in Johannesburg Over 'Stowaway'

A Kenya Airways plane at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi (file photo).
6 November 2019

A Kenya Airways Boeing 787 was forced to return to Johannesburg on Tuesday over an alleged 'stowaway', an aviation industry monitor has reported.

The aircraft had departed from Johannesburg to Nairobi with a mechanic still on board, The Aviation Herald, which covers incidents and critical situations in civil aviation, reported on Tuesday.

The plane was reportedly climbing out of South Africa's financial capital when the crew was informed that a maintenance engineer should have been left in Johannesburg.


The crew were forced to turn around and return to Johannesburg about 30 minutes later.

The maintenance engineer was allegedly discovered after the plane landed on the runway.

"He's here and conscious!" The Aviation Herald quoted the crew as saying.

Kenya Airways, however, did not confirm the claims of the 'stowaway' only stating that: "... .we had an air-turn back due to operational reasons, however the same flight left Johannesburg at 1335hrs."

The aircraft remained on the ground for about an hour, then departed again and landed in Nairobi after a 105-minute delay.

This is not the first time a KQ flight is being rocked by a stowaway incident.

In June, the body of a male stowaway fell off a Kenya Airways plane moments before it landed at London's Heathrow Airport.

The KQ Flight 100 was travelling from Nairobi to the British capital.

Following the discovery of the body, which had no identification, the aircraft was inspected and a bag with food and clothes was discovered at the rear left landing gear.

Police in London last month released a sketch of the stowaway and have asked anyone who can assist with the investigation to call the Metropolitan Police quoting the reference CAD 5395/30 June.

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