Update: KAWU Sec Gen arrested but damage already done as flights diverted to TZ amid agonizing strike

Some passengers spent the night at the airport

Nairobi flights that were scheduled to land at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) have been diverted to Mombasa and others to as far as Tanzania.

This follows the strike by Kenya Aviation Workers Union (KAWU) that has halted operations at the airport leaving thousands of passengers stranded since midnight.

“We advise all passengers using JKIA to get in touch with their respective airlines to confirm their travel arrangements,” the Kenya Airports Authority said in a statement.

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Hundreds of passengers are stranded at the airport after their flights were delayed or rescheduled, with many taking to social media to vent their frustration.

“We are stranded at JKIA since 3am. All flights grounded,” Kimany Kiongo posted on Twitter.

“Been here since 3am… no entry into the terminal at #JKIA due to strike action,” Nambi Sharon tweeted.

Police and General Service Unit (GSU) officers engaged the striking workers in running battles lobbing teargas canisters at the crowd.

A water cannon arrives at the JKIA on March 6, 2019. Photo/SHERLYNE PENDO

The workers union secretary general Moses Ndiema has since been arrested.

A water cannon was seen arriving at the airport even as public vehicles were prevented from accessing the area.

Long queues and passengers seated on the floor outside the terminals characterised scenes at the airport.

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