The Boeing Company has confirmed an order from Kenya Airways for three
777-200ER (Extended Range) airplanes. The airline becomes the newest carrier in Africa to operate the fastest selling widebody airplane in the market. The new airplanes will be purchased directly from Boeing.
Kenya Airways Chairman Isaac Omolo Okero said he is delighted with the decision.
"This completes the plan for our long-term wide-body fleet," he said. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in 2004.
Kenya Airways Managing Director and CEO Brian Presbury said he was very pleased that the aircraft Boeing offered and Kenya Airways' passenger number projections made good business sense.
"It is the right aircraft at the right price," Presbury said. "The decision is in line with our current strong growth and reflects both our long-term network aspirations and our intention to be a World Class airline."
Kenya Airways began its long-haul fleet modernization program in May 2001, with the delivery of its first Boeing 767-300ER. The carrier also took delivery of two more in June and July. In September 2001 the carrier became the first on the continent to operate the 737-700 with blended winglets. Two more 737s with winglets are scheduled to deliver through 2003. Kenya Airways will retire their last A310 in April this year, making the airline an all-Boeing customer.
The aircraft's excellent performance was fundamental in this decision, said Kenya Airways Technical Director Steve Clarke.
"The hot and high performance of the Boeing 777, together with its low seat-mile costs and payload capability, meant that it produced the best long-term financial performance by a significant margin," Clarke said. "The ability to guarantee cargo capacity out of Nairobi will allow us to better serve the Kenyan export market."
Doug Groseclose, senior vice president of International Sales, Commercial Airplanes, said the leadership of Kenya Airways and other customers around the world have created a big demand for the 777 airplane.
"Kenya Airways looked to us to provide an airplane that would give them the flexibility to grow their long-haul route network," Groseclose said. "The 777 family meets that need and is the long-haul point-to-point solution for the African market."
In 2001 Kenya Airways was awarded the airline of the year by African Aviation, Africa's leading industry journal for its continuous improvements of its products and services and upholding the highest safety standards of its products.
The 777 is the most advanced airplane in the world and the only airplane in history to be ETOPS (extended-range, twin-engine operations)-approved at entry into service. It features advanced alloys and composites that greatly improve durability and corrosion resistance, and lower maintenance costs. The flight deck incorporates technical advances that significantly reduce training time for airlines.
Kenya Airways is the flag-carrier of the Republic of Kenya operating scheduled regional and international passenger, cargo and mail services from its Nairobi base and Moi International Airport in Mombasa to Europe, India and the Middle East.