KENYA AIRWAYS DECIDES FOR B787 AFTER ALL
In what appears to have been a well executed role play, using discussions with Airbus to obtain ultimately the very best deal from Boeing in regard of compensatory concessions for to the extraordinarily long delay of the delivery of the first of 9 B787 Dreamliners, has Kenya Airways finally announced this afternoon that ‘Boeing it is’.
Kenya Airways initially signed for 9 Dreamliners with a further 4 options over 5 years ago in 2006, but had counted to have the new fuel efficient and larger B787 already in service, to substitute against the less economical and smaller B767’s which have for long formed the backbone of the long haul fleet of KQ, besides their larger ‘sister ship’ the B777.
Information received from ‘The Pride of Africa’ just now talks of the first delivery of a B787 by the last quarter of 2013, but no one would be surprised if Boeing, saddled with a multitude of problems with the aircraft up to this point, would miss that delivery deadline too by a few weeks or months.
While announcing the re-confirmation of the contract with Boeing the airline’s CEO Dr. Titus Naikuni also spoke of plans to fly to every major African capital by 2013, using the modern new aircraft to allow the planned network expansion across the continent, which now forms the backbone of Kenya Airways’ revenue generation, for both passengers and cargo.
Remaining an almost exclusive Boeing operator – KQ also has a fleet of Embraer 170 and 190 for regional operations where smaller aircraft than the B737 are needed – will also take care of the in house maintenance at the airline’s base in Embakasi / Nairobi, which is fully geared towards all major maintenance work, including heavy maintenance, for their Boeing fleet.