First international flights after Nairobi airport fire

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Activities  have started to pick up with some international flights landing at Nairobi’s international airport a day after fire gutted the arrivals hall, causing serious disruption.

A plane from London was the first to land at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport at 06:30 local time (03:30 GMT), Kenyan airport authorities said.

Other planes from Bangkok and Kilimanjaro also arrived.

The Nairobi airport is a regional hub serving more than 16,000 passengers daily and its closure caused widespread disruption.

International flights into the city had been diverted to other airports in Eldoret and the coastal city of Mombasa.

On Wednesday the interior ministry announced the resumption of domestic and cargo services.

The fire took about four hours to bring under control, by which time the arrivals hall had been gutted.

‘Completely destroyed’

No further details have emerged on the cause of the fire, which erupted at dawn Wednesday and raged for hours before it was contained.

“The cause of the fire is being investigated. There is no reason to speculate at this point. There was no loss of life,” said Manoah Esipisu, a government spokesman.

Flights were rerouted to airports in Mombasa and Eldoret, and also to neighboring nations. The fire briefly rekindled early Thursday morning, but officials said it was put out.

More international services are expected to resume, said Michael Kamau, the nation’s transportation and infrastructure secretary.

The blaze shut down East Africa’s busiest airport and was a major blow to tourism, a major source of revenue for the nation.

The effects of the fire may also reverberate worldwide — the nation distributes flowers and agricultural products to Europe thorough the airport. A third of all flowers in Europe come from Kenya, with a special emphasis on rose production.

The Kenya Flower Council advised growers to hold back the cutting of their products until airport operations are resolved

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