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Fuel hitch forces Kenya Airways 737 to land in Mombasa

A Kenya Airways Boeing 737-700 flying from New Delhi, India, to Nairobi was today diverted to Mombasa due to problems with the aircraft’s fuel control system.

A Kenya Airways Boeing 737 that was diverted to Mombasa today due to a fuel system hitch. Photo by the Kenya Red Cross.

A Kenya Airways Boeing 737 that was diverted to Mombasa today due to a fuel system hitch. Photo by the Kenya Red Cross.

Early reports indicated that the aircraft, performing Flight KQ221 from India, was diverted to Mombasa after it ran out of fuel. The aircraft could not land in Nairobi when it arrived in Kenya because airspace over Nairobi was closed for Mashujaa Day celebrations.

In a statement this afternoon, Kenya Airways Chief Operating Officer Mbuvi Ngunze said the aircraft had enough fuel on board but was diverted to Mombasa due to a problem with the fuel control system.

“The aircraft needed to land at the nearest alternate airport,” said Ngunze.

There had also been indications that the 38 passengers on the flight would be transferred to another Kenya Airways aircraft so as to complete the journey to Nairobi. Observers on the ground later said the same 737 was refuelled and took off for Nairobi.

The Boeing 737-700 has a minimum range of 6,230 kilometres though some extended range versions can do 10,000km. The distance between Nairobi and New Delhi is approximately 5,400km. However, the actual distance covered by an aircraft can vary due to instructions from air traffic control along the way.

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