It’s hard to imagine what Ahmed Khalid must be feeling. He was just a few minutes late for the ill-fated Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET302 that crashed on Sunday, killing all 157 people on board.

It was a flight delay in Dubai that made him just miss his connecting flight from Addis Ababa to Nairobi and ultimately saved his life.

Ahmed was headed home to his family in Kenya after being away for the past year.

Ahmed’s father was waiting at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta Airport, unaware his son had missed the flight.

While waiting for his son’s flight, a security guard approached him and asked which flight he was waiting for.

“I answered him quickly because I wanted him to direct me to the arrivals, so I told him Ethiopia, and then he said: ‘Sorry, that one has crashed.”

Ahmed’s Father Khalid Ali Abdulrahman told media

Image: BBC

Naturally, he feared the worst.

“I was shocked, but shortly after, my son contacted me and told me he is still in Addis and did not board that flight, he is waiting for the second one which has been delayed,” he explained.

For others waiting at Nairobi airport for loved ones, the story ended in a very different way.

Ahmed said for now he is relishing the time he has been given to spend with his family during his month of leave.

Despite the devastating turn of events, Ahmed said he still plans to return to Dubai on Ethiopian Airlines.

Our thoughts go out to all those affected