OUAGADOUGOU HERE WE COME
The expansion drive across the African continent by Kenya Airways, aka ‘The Pride of Africa’ continues unabated, as Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso has just been announced as the 55th destination, due to join the network by mid July. The initially twice weekly flights will route from the airline’s Nairobi hub via Cotonou, Benin and a B737-800 will be used for the comfort of passengers.
Kenya Airways intends to commence flight operations to a further 6 destinations during their current financial year, some of them known to this correspondent but on request of a senior source within the airline still withheld to keep their competition guessing for a while longer. KQ only recently signed an aircraft purchase deal with Embraer for another 10 firm orders of the E190AR and options for 10 more Embraer jets, type still to be determined but expected to be a mix between the E170’s and E190’s. Kenya Airways presently already operates 7 of those sleek ‘birds’ and a further 3 E190’s are due for delivery in coming months before the next 10 on firm order will begin to join the fleet in 2012 over a 2 year period. \
The fleet of KQ now stands at 32 all jet aircraft with a further 19, including 9 B787’s on firm order and another 14 options, of which 4 are again for the B787, which in coming years will form the backbone of the airline’s long haul flights.
Kenya Airways is committed to connect all of Africa’s capitals and/or commercial hubs by 2013, aiming to capture the growing traffic within Africa, and connecting with KQ in Nairobi to destinations into the Gulf, the Indian subcontinent and to Asia and the Far East.
Related to this is the sudden renewed urgency and speed of the Kenya Airport Authority to expand the East African region’s premier aviation hug, Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, with the construction of more aircraft parking spaces, a new terminal building and a new runway, to give ‘The Pride of Africa’ the operational advantages they need to grow and expand as envisaged by the company.
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