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Passenger medical emergency: Crew, Doctors handle emergency on KQ Flight to London

A Kenya Airways (KQ) flight from Nairobi to London, UK landed safely at Heathrow Airport after an ‘incident’ on Monday afternoon.

The pilot declared an emergency mid-air after a passenger suffered a “medical emergency.”

However, at 15:36 London time, the crew changed the squawk code to 4040, indicating that they had successfully managed the onboard emergency and were proceeding with the landing.

A squawk code of 7700 is used to communicate that an emergency has occurred during the flight, which can encompass various types of emergencies.

“Kenya Airways PLC (KQ) confirms that on Monday, 9 October 2023, at approximately 14:19hrs, KQ100, operating from Nairobi to London Heathrow, declared a medical emergency after a passenger fell ill,” said the airline.

The national carrier said the crew on board provided first aid to the passenger and the pilot opted to return to London for the passenger to receive further medical attention.

“The crew on board, supported by two medical doctors and a nurse, provided medical assistance to the passenger. The Captain declared a medical emergency with Air Traffic Control (ATC) to expedite the landing for the passenger to receive further medical attention.”

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The aircraft landed safely at 14:47hrs, where medical personnel were on standby to assist the passenger.

“We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience caused. The safety of our crew and customers is our number one priority,” Kenya Airways emphasized in its statement.

Flight tracking website Aviation Source News reported that the Kenya Airways Boeing 787 declared an emergency over Paris during the incident.

This isn’t the first time Kenya Airways has faced issues with its Boeing 787 aircraft.

On February 15, a Kenya Airways Boeing 787-8 flight scheduled to fly from London Heathrow to Jomo Kenyatta Airport was forced to return to Heathrow ten minutes after takeoff, reportedly due to aircraft faults.

Also read: Kenya Airways speak on Kenyan who died in flight from New York

According to eyewitnesses, the aircraft appeared to circle over South East London for about half an hour, flew towards the Channel, and continued to circle the air for another 20 minutes. The flight eventually headed towards Heathrow and made an emergency landing at 11:48am.

The airline has attributed flight disruptions to issues with the aircraft manufacturer, emphasising that the technical problems experienced by its fleet also affect similar aircraft models worldwide.

Kenya Airways stated in response to Business Daily.

“The technical issues affecting some of our fleets also affect similar fleet types and ages worldwide. The above issues have no relationship with the current industry shortage of parts, as all maintenance schedules are being adhered to.”

In this specific incident, the aircraft returned to Heathrow due to a slat skew fault, which, while not posing a safety risk, led the airline to take precautionary measures by returning to Nairobi.

Also read: Mike Sonko now wants to fly Kenya Airways planes