Water salute is a phenomenon, whose significance is not known by many, given its rare occurrence.
The FIFA World Cup plane, which touched down at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) at 12 noon Monday, received a water salute, which occurs for ceremonial purposes.
The water salute is a touching airport tradition to honour military events, new airline service, anniversaries, noteworthy events at airport, last schedule of an airplane to that airport, and foreign dignitaries.
It occurs when an even number of fire-fighting vehicles line up perpendicular on the sides of the taxiway and plumes of water sprayed over an arriving or departing flight. This denotes respect and greeting.
No one knows when and where this type of respect ‘water salute’ started.
On few occasions, water salute ended destructively to aircrafts and people. A water salute, which was once given to U.S. Airlines flight Boeing 777, seriously damaged the plane. On the occasion, foam was pumped out and it went to prime areas of the aircraft, damaging those parts.
Plane carrying the FIFA World Cup received water salute shortly after touching down at the JKIA from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on Monday. The incident denoted respect to the tournament, which happens once in every four years.
This is the third time the FIFA World Cup trophy touches down on Kenyan soil after beverage giant Coca Cola organized similar event in 2010 and 2014.
The trophy, which weighs 6.1kgs and is valued at slightly over Ksh1 billion, was transported to State House, Nairobi, where President Kenyatta received it.
The trophy was displayed at the KICC for public viewing, and the plane carrying it will depart for Maputo, Mozambique from the JKIA on Tuesday, February 27.
The 2018 World Cup trophy tour started in September, 2017 and will pass through over 50 countries across six continents, traveling 126, 000 kilometers in nine months ahead of the June 14 to July 15, 2018 international football tournament in Russia.