Safe Air (K3, Nairobi Wilson) and safari tour specialist Adventure Aloft appear to have had their licences suspended by the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA), which cited safety concerns following inspections, according to the Daily Nation newspaper.

Gilbert Kibe, the authority's director general, told the parliament's transport committee on November 12 that neither carrier should be used by Kenyans, the newspaper reported.

Safe Air operates one 32-year-old Fokker 50, one 23.4-year-old CRJ100ER, and one 40.4-year-old B727-200(F), all of which are still active according to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module, plus a currently stored 38.9-year-old B727-200.

Kibe had been summoned by the committee to explain a rising tide of air accidents in Kenya. He said that recent incidents had been “isolated” and that a safety audit of all of the country's airlines was ongoing.

According to a government report seen by the Daily Nation earlier this month, there has been one life-endangering or fatal aircraft incident per month on average in Kenyan airspace over the last 22 months.

The KCAA also grounded for one week all Dash-8 aircraft operated by Silverstone Air Services (SLR, Nairobi Wilson) (two Dash 8-100s and four Dash 8-300s, according to ch-aviation fleets advanced) following three incidents between October 11 and 28, two of them at the capital's secondary Wilson airport.

Alex Gitari, acting managing director of the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA), was also at the meeting with Kibe, assuring the committee that KES350 million (USD3.43 million) had been budgeted to fill potholes in the runway at Wilson.

However, an anonymous representative of Wilson Airport told the Daily Nation he believed the blame lay with the KCAA, saying: “The regulator is asleep. Given the number of incidents we have had, it is now for you as the ticket buyer to make a choice between safety and affordability.”

Other unnamed industry insiders told the newspaper that intense competition in the country's cargo and passenger business had pushed some airlines to make aircraft maintenance shortcuts.

Safe Air distributed a statement dated November 13, saying: “Our attention has been drawn by several articles published in the social media and some local media houses that SAC (K) LTD also referred to as Safe Air has been grounded by the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority. We would like to assure our esteemed customers that the information is FALSE. We continue to be operational.”

Editorial Comment: Safe Air comment added. - 15.11.2019 - 13:58 UTC