Kenya Airways received its first Boeing [NYSE:BA]
777-200ER (Extended Range) earlier this week during a celebration that included the airplane and two Kenya Air Force fighter jets dazzling onlookers while flying over Nairobi.
The airplane is the first 777 regularly operating in sub-Saharan Africa and the first airplane in the region powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 800 engines. During the fly-over, observers enjoyed a close look at Kenya Airways' new flagship airplane when the flight crew circled the 777-200ER around the city at an altitude of 1,000 feet (305 meters).
Kenya Airways is adding the airplane to its all-Boeing fleet of 737 and 767 airplanes. The airline has achieved accolades for its success as both a regional and long-haul carrier. It has two additional 777-200ERs on order, scheduled to be delivered in 2005.
"Kenya Airways is clearly committed to transporting its passengers in great comfort and with exceptional efficiency," said Mike Smith, Boeing regional sales director. "Its future is bright and two additional 777s will enhance its new routing opportunities."
The ceremony was punctuated by dancing and synchronized drumming by local tribal members, and musical performances by well-known Kenyan artists.
Kenya Airways' 777-200ER is the first airplane to incorporate Boeing's enhanced lighting system, offering improved passenger comfort through a number of colored lighting scenarios. The system is based on Boeing studies of how passengers are impacted by the in-flight cabin environment.
More than 470 777s are currently in service with 36 customers around the world. To date, more than 630 777s have been ordered.