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The hundreds of aid workers, politicians and businessmen shuttling back-and-forth between the Kenyan capital Nairobi and Mogadishu are resigned to standards they would likely not accept back home, but the news that an airline has been fined $3,000 dollars for safety violations may send shivers up a few spines.
East African Safari Air Express, owned by low-cost regional airline Fly 540, has been fined for two separate incidents that Somalia’s Civil Aviation Authority said showed the company failed to follow the procedures and rules required for operating in Somali airspace.
A letter to the company said that on Sunday August 28, a Fokker 28 with the registration 5Y-EEE landed at Mogadishu’s international airport with a flat tyre, and no spare in the cargo compartment, leading to the flight being grounded. Then, on September 5, the flight from Nairobi landed at 19.30, breaking the embargo on flights operating outside daylight hours. Passengers were forced to sleep overnight at the police station because all of the immigration and security officers had knocked off.
Regular travellers often joke that the flights between Nairobi and Mogadishu are more terrifying than actually spending time in the capital – and that probably goes double now that al-Shabaab has pulled most of its forces out of the city.