Kenya Airways has confirmed that KQ Flight 310, enroute to Dubai, underwent an air turnback just one hour after departing from its hub at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).

This precautionary measure on Boeing 737-800 (Reg 5Y-CYD), was taken following the discovery of tyre debris on the runway, believed to have originated from the aircraft.

Information from Flightradar24, which tracks aircraft all over the world, shows that the carrier initiated a turnback in Wajir.

“On the evening of December 15, 2023, at approximately 21:20 HRS, an incident occurred at JKIA when Air Traffic Control discovered tyre debris during a routine runway inspection.

Subsequent investigations by the KQ operations team revealed that the debris originated from KQ Flight 310, which had undertaken a scheduled journey from Nairobi to Dubai,” said the airline.

Air turnbacks are standard safety procedures in the aviation industry and are implemented to ensure the well-being of passengers and crew.

The airline said following the identification of the tyre debris, the KQ operations team promptly contacted the flight crew, and, as a precautionary measure, a decision was made to execute an air turnback to Nairobi for further technical evaluation.

“The crew, in adherence to established safety protocols and in consultation with operations control, successfully executed the air turnback, safely touching down at JKIA at 23:46 HRS without any incident,” the carrier said.

KQ did not indicate whether there was jettisoning (fuel dumping) but it is likely that the aircraft had to dump in order to attain the maximum required weigh for safe landing.

Passengers aboard the affected flight were accommodated, and arrangements made to rebook them on the next available flight.

The airline apologized to the affected guests for any inconvenience caused, but underlined its unwavering commitment to prioritising the safety of both passengers and crew members.

The carrier said the incident is being thoroughly investigated, and necessary measures will be taken to prevent such occurrences in the future.

“As the airline works diligently to normalise operations, passengers can rest assured that every effort is being made to minimise disruptions and uphold the highest standards of safety in aviation travel,” it said.