A Kenya Airways flight bound for London declared an emergency landing due to a medical situation on board as it approached Heathrow.

Flight KQ100, departing from Nairobi, altered its squawk code to 7700 while still within French airspace, signaling to Air Traffic Control (ATC) that there was an emergency on board.

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. Pilots may manually input this code into the transponder themselves or follow ATC instructions to do so. This code alerts ground control that the aircraft is dealing with a serious issue and requires assistance.

Kenya Airways confirmed the incident through an official statement.

 “Kenya Airways PLC (KQ) confirms that on Monday, 9th 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 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.”

Flight KQ100, operating between Nairobi and Heathrow, was conducted by the airline’s Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft with registration 5Y-KZH.

The airline reported that the aircraft safely landed at 14:47hrs, and paramedics, already prepared on the ground, swiftly transported the passenger to a hospital for additional medical care.