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Saturday, April 4, 2020

Is Fly540 risking passenger lives by flying old aircrafts?

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Fly540 Fleet: Complaints have emerged that Kenyan airline Fly540 is using very old aircraft that is putting the lives of passengers at risk. The first complaint emerged on the Facebook page of Phil Etale, who is the communications director at the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party. He posted the following message mid last year:

“Monday this week, passengers on a @Fly540Aviation flight to Eldoret were a frightened lot. The aircraft upon taking off from JKIA had difficulties picking up & the air conditioner started emitting hot air. While somewhere in Nakuru, things became thicker. The plane literally began slowing down. A passenger friend of mine told me “Philip, we knew we were going to die. Everyone was worried. Nobody talked to the other. Even the cabin crew was terrified. They did not give us any hope”. My friend tells me that the pilot had to make a u-turn back to the JKIA. “When we arrived at the airport, nobody wanted to be the last to disembark from the plane. Our trip had aborted and I lost a lot. I was going for a crucial business meeting”. Fly 540, this is not the first time people are complaining about your aircraft. Do something before a disaster happens.”

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Among the comments Kenyans made on the post was one by a Kenyan known as Jesca Kiplagat, who said: “Weee on Monday, I boarded fly 540 from Eldoret to Nairobi. I thought we would die. It was raining and the weather was really bad. On taking off , I felt the plane had difficulty going up.. Our journey all through was rough, the plane was shaking and I thought we would crash. I literally closed my eyes all through the journey, I was crying. I thank God we landed safely.. Very bad experience with 540… “

On its website, though, Fly540 appears to deny using old aircraft. It says that “our aircraft are maintained by our experienced engineers and technicians who have had extensive training, both regionally and internationally, and are licensed to practice by the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA).”

It lists its Fly540 Fleet as follows:

Bombardier Dash 8 102 Series
Type: Twin-engine, medium-range, turboprop airliner
Number in service: Two
Capacity per aircraft: 37 passengers
CANADAIR CL-600-2B19 REGIONAL JET
Type: Twin-engine regional jet
Number in service: Three
Capacity per aircraft: 50 passengers
DC-9
Type: Twin-engine, single-aisle jet airliner
Number in service: One
Capacity per aircraft: 1,336 x 210 x 190 cm cargo hold
FOKKER F28
Type: Short range jet airliner
Number in service: One
Capacity per aircraft: 67 passengers
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3 COMMENTS

  1. World War Planes are still flying, safely. No big deal there. Technical faults occur even in a brand new aircraft. Should be glad they had a skilled pilot and God on there side.

  2. The DC9 doesn’t fly anymore, it was over 50 years of age and possibly the oldest commercial airliner flying in the world.
    Luckily it ran out of engines before it ran out of luck. The Fokker doesn’t fly anymore because there are no pilots to fly it, nobody flies them anymore. Most of their CRJs are grounded and are at the end of their life. I would not even think of flying with this substandard airline which is on its last legs and hasn’t paid staff for over three months. A proper audit would result in 540 being shut down before there is another accident.

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