Kenya Airways plane heading to London Heathrow intercepted by the UK Royal Air Force and diverted to Stansted Airport
According to reports, the plane departed the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) on Thursday morning and was to land at London Heathrow and diverted to London Stansted Airport.
The Kenya Airways plane according to reports was diverted to Stansted Airport in London for security clearance by UK government security personnel.
Stansted is the designated airport for dealing with security issues in the UK.
According to Aviation news platform Simple Flying, the proximity of Stansted Airport to key Royal Air Force bases allows key resources to be swiftly deployed while the size of the location enables potential risks to be isolated from other areas.
UK’s Daily Mail was the first to report the incident, with reports indicating heavy police presence at the Stansted Airport.
Section of the UK media also reported that a bomb squad were also at the scene.
“Queues are beginning to form at Stansted as flights are being held due to this developing incident. No official confirmation yet, but nothing is going in or out of Stansted at this time,” read the aviation news site Aviation Source report.
According to Essex Police, they also confirmed the incident, maintaining that they were attending to the security concern.
“We are currently attending an incident at Stansted Airport. A flight traveling from Nairobi to Heathrow was diverted to Stansted this afternoon. The airport remains open.” the police stated.
The reason for the diversion still remains unclear, with the London press reporting that bomb squads were seen rushing to the scene.
In response to the interception, Kenya Airways stated that it received an alert of a potential security threat on board KQ100 operating from Nairobi to London Heathrow.
“KQ management, in conjunction with the security authorities of the Government of Kenya and the United Kingdom, carried out a thorough risk assessment of the threat.
“The crew onboard were briefed, and all safety and security precautions were taken to ensure the safety and security of our crew and passengers on board. The aircraft landed safely at Stansted airport, London, for security clearance by UK government security personnel,” KQ stated in a press release shared on its social media pages.