Kenya Airways announces engine choice, signs deal with GE Aviation


Kenya Airways announced overnight that they have selected GE as their engine supplier for the 9 B787 Dreamliners on firm order with a further 4 on option. The newly developed GEnx-1B engine will reach up to 70.000 pounds of thrust each and yet offer up to 17 percent less fuel burn compared to the B767 fleet presently in use, which is due to be phased out as the Dreamliners come on line for Kenya Airways.
In addition it was pointed out that the new engine type will require a more friendly maintenance regime with longer time on the wings before overhauls, helping to make further savings on operating expenses.
Emissions too are said to be as much as 90 percent under currently permitted levels, although respective legislations and regulations will require a significant lowering of todays emission standards in coming years and aircraft powered with the GEnx-1B will have a greatly reduced noise footprint too during take off and landing, music in the ears of those living near airports or under the approach and departure air lanes.
The contracts were signed in Nairobi yesterday between the Kenya Airways CEO Dr. Titus Naikuni and GEs Vice President Sales for Africa and the Middle East Mr. Isam Moursy.
The airline last Friday launched their new share rights issue and sales started yesterday with encouraging news that the firm uptake is now already well into the 70 percent margin with leading institutional investors paving the way and setting the mood for private investors too to be part of KQs future growth.
It could also be confirmed last week, when speaking to senior management of Kenya Airways, that unlike Ethiopian Airlines, which is presently retrofitting blended winglets on their B767 fleet to improve performance and lower this aircraft types fuel consumption, Kenya Airways will not be going that way, as any savings, vis a vis the cost of conversion, would within the remaining productive lifespan of this aircraft type on the Kenya Airways fleet be at best borderline but in reality cost more than achieve. The first two B787 Dreamliners are due to join the Pride of Africa starting from the first quarter of 2014. In regard to the 4 options which KQ presently has, there is strong indication that they will be converted into firm orders in due course, when the current share rights issue has been concluded and future growth plans been backed up by the added capital. Watch this space.