On the same day that news broke of the alleged mistreatment of Bishop Jackson Kosgei after a Fly540 flight , the local airline broke the silence on the shocking saga. According to Bishop Kosgei of World Wide Gospel Church, he had to crawl out of a plane on his stomach because ‘they do not offer lift services disabled persons need‘.
Bishop Kosgei who is also father to celebrated gospel singer, Emmy Kosgei, put the airline on the spot in a story that has caused a major uproar from Kenyans. Emmy Kosgei also had this to say: “We demand for an apology from #fly540 ! Mistreatment of people with physical disability …. This is quite unfair n unfortunate !!! 540 could not facilitate my daddy’s exit from their plane .. Instead cruelly mistreated n n forced him out …! Just bcoz he couldn’t walk out???? This is against human rights ….. Join me in condemning this unGodly act !!!!!!! It must end….”
In an effort to quell the heat the saga had generated, the airline released a statement and vowed to investigate into the matter.
Here’s that statement:
“We commend and support Bishop Jackson Kosgei and his tireless work to raise awareness of the difficulties faced by less-abled people. Fly540 Kenya is proud of its track record and the contribution it makes to help wherever possible.
We are investigating this allegation and taking the matter seriously. We also take the matter of health and safety of all our passengers very seriously and, like all airlines, insure all our passengers against injury. What we can and cannot do are dictated by terms and conditions of insuring our passengers. Due to the type of our planes, we cannot provide cover for immobile or lift-on/off passengers.
The aircrafts in use are not fitted with the special equipment needed for these situations and, as a result, our insurance does not provide cover against any issues that might arise through our employees physically carrying a passenger. We are however able to assist wheelchair passengers who can be escorted up to the aircraft door, as long as they are able to climb the stairs – and provided we are informed at the time of booking. We make this clear to everyone and it is in at least three different places on our website.
Bishop Kosgei is a frequent traveler with us and has not had any issues previously. Our preliminary investigations indicate that in this instance he declined assistance whilst disembarking. Once we have concluded our investigation we will make it available to the relevant authorities. Additionally, we are happy to meet the Bishop and discuss how we can make matters easier for him in the future.”