Kenya Airways Flight KQ100, initially 45 minutes away from landing at Heathrow, was intercepted by RAF fighters and diverted to Stansted Airport due to the presence of suspicious individuals on board.

The airline’s CEO, Allan Kilavuka, disclosed that UK security officials had alerted them to these concerns. The RAF (Royal Air Force) dispatched fighter jets to escort the KQ Boeing 787 until it landed at a remote section of Stansted Airport, far from the terminal at 1545 hours. Essex Police personnel greeted the aircraft upon arrival.

“The diversion was prompted by the presence of suspicious characters on board, with no indication of a bomb threat,” Mr Kilavuka told Business Day Africa.

The security alert has since been lifted, and the aircraft has been cleared to continue its journey to Heathrow. The airline has confirmed that no security incidents occurred during or after the flight.

An Essex police spokesperson, as reported by the BBC, stated, “The aircraft was escorted to a remote parking stand with normal flight operations now continuing.”

Authorities conducted thorough inquiries, finding no concerning issues, and handed the plane to civilians at the aerodrome. The incident is now under the jurisdiction of civilian authorities, as reported by UK media.

The UK’s Ministry of Defense revealed that fighter aircraft from RAF Coningsby were dispatched as a precaution to assess a civilian aircraft approaching the UK.

The KQ aircraft remained in communication with air traffic controllers throughout the escort and landed safely at Stansted Airport.

Mr Kilavuka said that the KQ crew on board were briefed about the situation, and all necessary safety and security measures were taken to ensure the well-being of both the airline’s crew and passengers.

“We took these precautions due to the raised threat, ensuring there was nothing untoward,” he emphasised.