KENYA AIRWAYS CONFIRMS CONTINUED GROWTH UNDER ‘PLAN MAWINGO’
(Posted 05th March 2014)
It is a month to go until Kenya Airways will be able to welcome their first B787-8 Dreamliner in Nairobi, marking the next phase of roll out of the airline’s strategic ‘Plan Mawingo’, which outlines growth and expansion over the next 8 years. Launched in 2012 as a 10 year outlook towards where the airline wants to be in 2022, many of the projections rest on an increased presence in the markets in the Far East and the expansion based on two key premises, the delivery of state of the art jets for both long and short / medium haul and the timely delivery of ‘Project Greenfield’ by the Kenya Airport Authority which foresees the construction of a second runway at JKIA and of a new mega terminal, expanding capacity fivefold from the present 7+ million passengers.
(Kenya Airways’ first B787-8, registered as 5Y-KZA, undergoing taxi testing ahead of the upcoming delivery to ‘The Pride of Africa’
While Kenya Airways’ wide body fleet is and will continue to be based entirely on Boeing aircraft, both the B787 and the B777-300ER before the ‘new’ improved B777 comes on the market, on the short and medium haul fleet has Kenya Airways split orders between Embraer and Boeing for the E190 and the B737NG and in the future, no doubt, the B737MAX.
The airline’s CEO Dr. Titus Naikuni earlier this week confirmed that KQ, following the first B787-8 arrival in Nairobi on the 04th of April will receive a further 5 such aircraft this year, plus one more B777-300ER, with 400 seats in a dual class configuration the largest aircraft the airline ever owned and operated. Said Dr. Naikuni when making the announcement: ‘We are pleased to be using Dreamliner for our expansion plans, which will be both more environmentally friendly and more economic as we embrace the benefits of its design. The delivery of these exciting aircraft opens a new chapter and a very exciting time for the airline. Long haul routes to Paris, Amsterdam and Beijing are among the destinations earmarked for direct flights, as we continue exploring new markets that will be instrumental in helping us achieve our objective, to contribute towards the sustainable development of Africa. Introduction of direct flights to destinations like Paris and Amsterdam will boost key sectors of Kenya’s economy such as tourism and horticulture’.
The airline some weeks ago obtained regulatory approval by the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority for the use of the B787 Dreamliner, a mandatory requirement when introducing a new aircraft type for the first time and it is understood that all related maintenance and training requirements have also been met through the work of an in house task force which is responsible to integrate the new aircraft into the fleet, complying with KCAA regulations and manufacturers airworthiness directives.
(A pre-delivery night time view of Kenya Airway’s first B787-8)
The arrival of the new bird follows hot on the heels of the start of Kenya Airways’ own low cost airline Jambojet which is due to launch flight operations on the 01st of April, flying from Nairobi to Mombasa (5 times a day), to the lake side city of Kisumu (twice a day) and to Eldoret (10 times a week), taking over much of the present domestic network of Kenya Airways for domestic point to point traffic.