Watch the skies over Nairobi for Dreamliner number 5 to arrive by end of the week


(Posted 09th September 2014)

Kenya Airways is preparing for the arrival later this week of their fifth B787-8 Dreamliner, now just one short of the delivery target of six such aircraft this calendar year. An initial order of nine Dreamliners will then be completed with three more joining the fast growing fleet early next year before, and then will speculation kick in, when rather than if the pending options for additional purchases will be firmed up. The airline’s strategic plan shows that by the financial year 2020/21 some 26 B787-8 should be flying Kenya’s colours around the globe in addition to a further 6 B787-9, a larger model with more seats and more cargo uplift capacity, offering even better economics. The phasing out of the aged fleet of B767-300ER’s, which has already begun, will further improve the airline’s bottom line as the new breed of aircraft offer some 20 percent savings on fuel but also added savings in terms of reduced maintenance cost compared to the B767’s which are now way beyond their prime.

Inspite of a generally challenging business environment, with the Ebola outbreak in West Africa only adding to the problems airlines in Africa presently have, is it expected that Kenya’s national airline will remain on course to roll out ‘Plan Mawingo’ which over the next 7 years projects the fleet size to grow to 107 passenger aircraft in addition to several freighter aircraft. This development will go hand in hand with a significant increase in destinations to 115 in some 77 countries across all continents.

Together with the ongoing improvements at Kenya’s main airport, Jomo Kenyatta International in Nairobi, where the new Terminal 1A is progressively now handling more and more flights, initially all by Kenya Airways, and the construction of a temporary terminal, is the immediate future expansion of Kenya Airways catered for. When ‘Project Greenfield’ will be complete in 2018, with a second runway and a new mega terminal, is Kenya’s aviation future as the main hub for East Africa assured to remain a leader in not just the region but the African continent at large. Watch this space for breaking and regular aviation news from across Eastern Africa.

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