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Update on Kenya Airways Flight KQ 320 Air Turnback

 Further to our earlier statement we would like to confirm that, we have confirmed alternative travel arrangements for the 56 passengers who were on KQ320/1st January. 

Today’s flight KQ320/2nd January has been upgraded to a B737-800 which has a capacity of 145 seats. Kenya Airways will also endorse extra passengers on other carriers from Cairo.

Our attention has also been drawn to erroneous reports over the events that led to the air turnback of Flight KQ 320 en-route Cairo on January 1, 2013

Kenya Airways wishes to clarify that the aircraft’s engine did not catch fire. The decision by the Captain to  turn back at Khartoum International Airport is a standard safety precaution that was taken after an engine malfunction was discovered.

It is important to note that the pilot reported that there were no abnormal cockpit indications to warrant an emergency.

Preliminary investigations on the engine have found that the cause of the engine malfunction is neither a sign of engine deterioration, nor is it detrimental to its function in future.

The engine in question has accumulated 35,154 hours and 13,538 cycles since installation, compared to the 45,000 hours industry average time on wing for these engine models. The engine performance has not shown any signs of deterioration since installation in April 2012 and was expected to function for a further 5,671 hours.

We would like to state that safety of our passengers and crew on this flight was not compromised at any given time during the flight. Besides, an aircraft can operate safely for over two hours on one engine even if the other failed thus ensuring that all on board are safe. The design of the aircraft ensures that a double engine failure is a rare occurrence and in the event of a single engine failure an aircraft is able to operate safely to a safe landing thus ensuring the safety of all onboard.

In the meantime, we have dispatched a team of engineers to Khartoum to work on the aircraft’s engine and restore it to service.

Kenya Airways wishes to reassure its customers and the general public that it is committed to their safety and comfort at all times and strictly adheres to global standards.


Dr Titus Naikuni

Group Managing Director and CEO