The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] and Kenya Airways today announced planned additions to the airline's fleet with an order for its fourth 777-200ER and an option for a fifth, as well as plans to lease its sixth 767-300ER in 2006. The 777 ordered is scheduled for delivery in 2007.
Kenya Airways was the first carrier to purchase and operate the Boeing 777 in sub-Saharan Africa, which has contributed to the airline's record profitability and ongoing fleet and network expansion. The airline took delivery of its first 777-200ER in 2004 with the second and third of the model type entering service earlier this year.
"Flying passengers to the wide open spaces of the world on our 777s is a unique experience infused with the natural warmth and hospitality of the Kenyan people," said Titus Naikuni, CEO of Kenya Airways.
Kenya Airways 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.
"It's rewarding for us to see Kenya Airways be the region's first airline to take a proven performer like the 777 and reap the benefits of the airplane's superior economics," said Lee Monson, vice president of Sales for The Middle East and Africa.
The latest 777-200ER will join Kenya Airways' three 777s in service on existing routes and to new destinations in Europe, the Far East and Africa. The Boeing 777-200ER is capable of carrying 30 tons of cargo with full passenger loads of 322 people. As with the airline's existing 777s, the new aircraft will be powered by Rolls-Royce 92,000-pound-thrust Trent 800 engines.
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 this year's additional destinations include Bamako, Dakar, Maputo, Istanbul and Guangzhou in China. This complements 17 weekly flights to London and Amsterdam and regular schedules to select destinations in Asia, including Dubai, Mumbai, Hong Kong and Bangkok.
"We find the 777-200ER's performance and economics perfectly suited to our business model, and our passengers appreciate the comfort and amenities of the aircraft coupled with our world-class service" said Mr. Naikuni.