Kenya Airways’ latest E190 due to fly into JKIA today



Top officials of Kenya Airways, led by CEO and Group Managing Director Dr. Titus Naikuni, were yesterday at hand at the Embraer assembly plant in Sao Jose dos Campos, some 90 kilometres outside Sao Paulo, to take delivery of the airline’s latest E190 jet, due to arrive later today in Nairobi.

This is the first of a new batch of orders, which are all due to be delivered now at monthly intervals at The Pride of Africa’s home base in Embakasi, before entering service on domestic, regional and African routes.

Plans to expand the Africa network to cover by the end of next year all commercial and political capitals depend on the delivery of more of these jets, as they will be used in many cases as the ‘start up’ aircraft to commence flights, when initially demand for a new routes will still develop.

Unlike main competitor in the wider region Ethiopian Airlines, which opted to cover the less density and off peak flights with the Bombardier Q400 turboprop, Kenya Airways opted to remain an all jet airline, and the complaints received over the use of the Q400 by passengers flying on ET proved that to be the right choice. There issues ranged from baggage left behind due to load restrictions to the absence of a proper business class layout, the lack of a ‘hot galley’ to lack of space in overhead lockers. This compelled Ethiopian to go back to the drawing board and have Bombardier create an ‘improved cabin’ – reported here last week – to reduce complaints.

The Kenya Airways E 190’s are configured with a two class cabin, 12 in business in a 2×1 layout and 84 in economy in a 2×2 layout for improved comfort. The E190’s are able to fly over 2.900 kilometres at an elevation of 35.000 feet and the cruising speed of Mach 0.82 is only beaten by the airline’s B777 aircraft, but otherwise faster than the B737’s used by KQ. Welcome it is later this Friday to KQ’s latest bird and happy landings to crews and passengers for many years to come.