Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Kenya Airways to acquire two Boeing 777-300 ER Aircrafts

Kenya Airways fleet modernisation and expansion programme received a boost when the airline signed an agreement with General Electric Capital Aviation Services, GECAS  the commercial aircraft leasing and financing arm of General Electric, for the delivery of two Boeing 777-300 Extended Range (ER) aircraft.
The two aircrafts are expected to be join Kenya Airways fleet in October 2013 and May 2014 respectively with the aircrafts scheduled to operate long haul routes including Amsterdam, Bangkok, Guangzhou and Dubai in order to maximise both passenger and cargo traffic.
“With the increased passenger and cargo capacity that the Boeing 777-300ER offers, we are pleased with this development as it will see Kenya Airways significantly increase tonnage and passenger capacity while enhancing our premium service offering to Europe and the Far East,” noted Kenya Airways Chief Executive Officer and  Group Managing Director Dr. Titus Naikuni.
“This also speaks to Kenya Airways’ efforts of flying a more efficient and environmentally friendly fleet,” he further added. The Boeing 777-300ER provides increased passenger and cargo capability at lower seat-mile cost for long range markets.
“The B777-300ER aircraft will be operated by the same crew that fly the B777-200ER aircraft in our current fleet but we envisage that sufficient additional crew will be recruited and/or trained by the time the first aircraft arrive,” said Dr. Naikuni
Today marks yet another milestone in our business relationship with Kenya Airways as they sign up for a 12 year Operating Lease for 2 new Boeing 777-300ER passenger aircrafts. GECAS and Kenya Airways have a relationship that dates back to the year 2000 when KQ signed the first agreement with GECAS for 3 Boeing 767-300ERs and we value the good business relationship that continues to grow from strength to strength,” said GE President and CEO for Africa, Jay Ireland.
He elaborated that “GE is focused on creating partnerships and providing a wide range of solutions that will support Kenya and the rest of Africa’s infrastructure transformation and industrial growth”.
Kenya Airways will configure its 777-300ER’s with approximately 400 seats which is an extra passenger capacity of about 78 passengers over the 777-200ER. In addition, the aircraft will offer higher volumetric cargo capacity of over 12 tonnes.
The Boeing 777 family is the world's most successful twin-engine, long-haul airplane. With a current operational fleet of four B777-200ER aircrafts, the addition of the B777-300ER’s will see the airlines 777 fleet grow to seven by the end 2014.
The 777-300ER extends the 777 family's span of capabilities, bringing twin-engine efficiency and reliability to the long-range markets. The B777-300ER aircraft has approximately 300 nautical miles more range than the B777-200ER. This makes the aircraft ideal for maturing or matured heavy passenger traffic routes, a thriving belly cargo business and routes which have restrictions on frequency.
In April this year, Kenya Airways and Boeing Commercial Airplanes reached an agreement on the order for nine Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner aircrafts with the first one expected to be delivered by the fourth quarter of 2013.