Out go the B737-700’s and in come – what exactly and how …


(Posted 10th March 2018)

Sources close to Kenya Airways have suggested that the airline is pondering the change of their Boeing B737 fleet mix this year, as two smaller capacity and longer range Boeing B737-700NG’s, sold last year and leased back, are due to leave the fleet.
Speculation is rife how these birds are to be replaced as the overall fleet has shrunk following the disposal of the Embraer E170’s, the lease out of two Boeing B787’s to Oman Air and the disposal of almost the entire Boeing B777 fleet over the past year and a half.
While CEO Mikosz last year went on record at AviaDev in Kigali that he was looking at expanding once again following years of extreme financial hardship and cuts in routes, is it anyone’s guess right now how this is to be accomplished with two less aircraft unless they are going to be replaced by other B737-8s or even the newer Boeing B737MAX types.
Given that the airline still writes dark red figures however will it be a challenge for Kenya Airways to finance either outright orders or commit for a long term operating lease which also requires downpayments and then regular monthly payments.
The Kenyan banks, which were dragged kicking and screaming into a state directed conversion of debt against equity last year and are now a major shareholder in the airline will no doubt eye such developments with both concern as well as interest to see how management proposes to structure the acquisition of additional aircraft without increasing debt levels once again to the previously unsustainable levels.
As always will only time tell where this is heading so watch this space for any further upcoming news.