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Over 50 passengers stranded at airport after Fly540 aircraft develops mechanical problems

By By Philip Mwakio | June 8th 2013

By Philip Mwakio

Mombasa, Kenya: Travel plans for over 50 passengers destined for Nairobi from Mombasa who were booked on Fly540 was disrupted on Friday after the low cost airline failed to provide alternative aircraft.

 An aircraft which landed is said to have developed mechanical problems and could not take off.

 Angry passengers told The Standard at the Moi International Airport (MIA) on Saturday that they had been booked on two separate flights that were scheduled to leave Mombasa on Friday at 3.30 pm and 8.30 pm but never flew.

“’ We spent several hours waiting to board to no avail. No official from Fly540 was willing to offer us any meaningful explanation as to the reason behind the massive delays,’’ Dr Mahendra Pancholi, a medic at the Pandya Memorial Hospital said.

Dr Pancholi said they had to spend the night at the Jambo Hotel near the airport where they were refered to by the airline officials after demanding for a refund.

He said that he has missed crucial  meetings with some of his patients he was supposed to meet with at the MP Shah Hospital in Nairobi.

‘’ I am a regular flyer and use Fly540  each time I fly to Nairobi and back. I cannot comprehend in the first place the kind of treatment we have been subjected to,’’ Dr Pancholi complained.

Another passenger, Mr Titus Kagambi, a hotelier said that due to the flight delay, he had missed important business engagements in Nairobi which were to be concluded on Saturday.

“Fly540 officials here have not been helpful. It took the passengers own aggressive interventions for them (Fly540) to budge and take us to a hotel where we spent the rest of the hours before returning back here,’’ Kagambi said.

A businessman enroute to Nairobi and who was booked on the 8.30 pm Saturday flight said that the airline officials appeared confused and did not follow clear boarding procedure when one of their aircraft’s landed at the facility.

 “It took off with only women and young children who could not any further ,’’ he said.

Efforts to get comment from the Fly540 Mombasa Airport manager , a Mr Rama Gutsi were futile as his cellphone went unanswered.

By the time of going to press, the passengers were still stranded at the airport.

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