May 20, 2012 ·37 Comments
MOGADISHU — A carrier operated by Turkish Airlines left its Somali passengers stranded in the wrong airport after landing in Kenya rather than their intended destination of Aden Adde airport in Mogadishu, Somalia, on Friday.
The confusion, an airport official says, stems from security measures that advised the carrier to land from a safe direction to avoid being shot-down by insurgents.
The plane which could not safely land in the given direction due to prevailing winds abandoned the operation all together and dropped its passengers in Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta international airport.
The passengers were transferred on Saturday to Nairobi-based and regional carrier, African Express Airways, which flew them back to their intended destination.
On Wednesday (16 May) a similar incident left hundreds of Somali passengers stranded in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, after Turkish Airlines landed there rather than Mogadishu. It’s not clear if Turkish Airlines has paid for their transfer or provided them with accommodations.
The international carrier, the only one of its kind, operates twice-weekly flights to the Somali capital via Khartoum. It departs from Ataturk airport, Istanbul, on Tuesdays and Wednesday and returns Thursdays and Fridays according to its schedules.
Including Mogadishu the Turkish carrier flies to over 190 destinations worldwide.
Similarly Mogadishu-based Shabelle radio media on Saturday reported that Somali officials in Aden Adde airport were complaining about the current company managing the facility. The handlers, SKA Air and Logistics were said to be acting “virtually with impunity” and practicing wide spread of corruptions.
The station said company officials were accused of “taking unlawful charges from aid planes landing at Mogadishu.” They further pointed out that locals were unhappy because the Dubai-based company was hiring too many foreign workers when over 70 percent of Somalis were unemployed and living under $2 per day.
SKA Air and Logistics signed a contract with Somalia’s transitional government to take over the logistical needs of Mogadishu’s Adden Adde international airport in September 2010.
The company manager in Somalia, Anthony Randerson, this weekend said the company was missing large sums of money after their former accountant fled from the country. It is not clear if he was the one involved in the corruption allegations (see Somalia: ska air and logistic staff on the run with large money).
May 19, 2012Follow @somalilandpress