787 further validated as the premier choice for African carriers' future fleet operations
Kenya Airways today hosted representatives of The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] and the media to celebrate the airline's decision to purchase six 787 Dreamliners
. Kenya Airways plans to replace its current 767s with the highly efficient Dreamliners beginning with the delivery of two airplanes in 2010, and four in 2011.
Kenya Airways was the first carrier to purchase and operate the Boeing 777 in sub-Saharan Africa, and becomes the third major African airline to order the 787 Dreamliner. The unmatched performance, range and passenger comfort of the 787 will further enhance Kenya Airways' ability to offer service on routes across the globe.
"The 787 Dreamliner fits perfectly into our fleet strategy and offers Kenya Airways the opportunity to reach out across the globe in welcoming people to experience the wide open spaces and friendly charm found here in Africa," said Titus Naikuni, CEO of Kenya Airways.
Kenya Airways has earned a reputation for exemplary service and customer satisfaction and currently operates a 21-plane fleet, which includes Boeing 737s, 767s and 777s. The airline also recently announced a lease agreement with Singapore Aircraft Leasing Enterprises for three 737-800s to be delivered in 2006.
"Our association with Kenya Airways truly represents a partnership and is based on mutual respect and trust that we work together to ensure the airline's continued success," said Lee Monson, Boeing Commercial Airplanes vice president of Sales for The Middle East and Africa. "We're proud to have the 787 Dreamliner validated by the extremely competent and thorough assessment team that's been assembled within Kenya Airways."
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner has had the most successful program launch in Boeing's history, with the airplane first scheduled to enter commercial service in 2008. Kenya Airways becomes the 28th customer committed to the 787 Dreamliner. Boeing currently has 385 total orders and commitments worldwide.
The 787 is a family of airplanes carrying 200 to 300 passengers on routes between 3,500 and 8,500 nautical miles (6,500 to 16,000 kilometers). The Dreamliner will use 20 percent less fuel than today's airplanes of comparable size and will provide operators with up to 45 percent more cargo revenue capacity. Passengers will enjoy an innovative new interior environment with higher humidity, wider seats and aisles, and larger windows, greatly improving the overall flying experience.
Kenya Airways serves more than 2 million passengers annually and has the largest network into Africa. The carrier is going through an aggressive expansion program and it has added destinations which include Bamako, Dakar, Maputo, Istanbul and Guangzhou in China. The airline plans to soon launch service to Paris, Asmara and Sierra Leone. This complements 17 weekly flights to London and Amsterdam and regular schedules to select destinations in Asia, including Dubai, Mumbai, Hong Kong and Bangkok.