Kenya Airways boosts its fleet for regional expansion
NAIROBI, Feb 22, 2013 (Xinhua via COMTEX) --
Kenya Airways, has expanded its
fleet with the delivery of a new fully owned Embraer E190 jet, as
its 10-year growth strategy gains momentum.
Airline CEO Dr. Titus Naikuni said on Friday that the E-jet is
the seventh out of 10 that the airline is in the process of
acquiring as part of the 10-year growth strategy, dubbed Project
Mawingu that was rolled out in 2011.
"This will help us to achieve fleet optimization by deploying
E- jets to short regional routes, including destinations within
the continent, thus freeing the larger aircrafts to operate
regional and continental routes. This will translate into better
customer care, besides increasing the frequency of our flights,"
he said in a statement issued in Nairobi.
The move came after the national carrier announced its
expansion of its global network through a new codeshare agreement
with United Arab Emirates national carrier, Etihad Airways.
Under the new codeshare agreement, Kenya Airways will initially
place its KQ code on Etihad Airways existing daily service between
Nairobi and Abu Dhabi, and onwards to 32 destinations on Etihad's
The deal will provide passengers with connections over Abu
Dhabi to destinations across North Asia, South East Asia, the
Indian sub-continent and Australia.
The codeshare agreement is expected to boost Kenya's JKIA as a
regional transport hub given that the expansion and modernization
of the airport is one of the flagship projects under Vision 2030.
The agreement with the UAE carrier brings the number of
strategic codeshares that Kenya Airways has signed with other
international carriers to 18.
Under the 10 year growth strategy, Kenya Airways is aimed at
increasing its fleet from the current 39 aircrafts to 119 by 2021,
while growing the number of destinations to over 115 from the over
50 that it currently flies to.
Naikuni said that the airline is acquiring different aircraft
types as it targets a mix of narrow body and wide body aircrafts
for passenger fleet as well as freighter fleet.
The airline has been receiving an E-jet a month since August
2012. The remaining three will be delivered between May and
The E190 that has been delivered brings the number of E-jets to
17; and it is expected to increase to 20 by the end of 2013. The
airline has also ordered nine Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircrafts to
be delivered from 2014 partly financed using proceeds from the
Rights Issue successfully concluded in June.
Later this year, Kenya Airways will take delivery of the first
of three B777-300ER aircraft that will be used to bolster its
intercontinental flights to Europe and the Far East.
The aircrafts in Kenya Airways' fleet include Boeing B777, B767
and B737, as well as Embraer E190 and E170.
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