Kenya Airways yesterday did the country proud as the national airline took delivery of the third B787-8 Dreamliner. The handover of KQ’s latest brand new aircraft is part of an ongoing fleet renewal exercise under which initially 9 Dreamliners’ were ordered. With a fuel consumption of more than 20 percent less than the B767-300ER’s presently used by Kenya Airways, a longer range and a higher payload for passengers and cargo, will these state of the art planes progressively replace the aged B767’s and then add to the overall fleet size, catering for the two new destinations in China coming on line later this year, Beijing and Shanghai.
(Picture courtesy of Kenya Airways – Arrival of the new ‘bird’ at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport / Nairobi)
This year alone will Kenya Airways take delivery of 6 B787-8 Dreamliners, 2 additional B777-300ER’s and next generation B737-800’s before next year a further 3 Dreamliners and a yet to be confirmed number of other aircraft will join the fleet in Nairobi.
The recent soft opening of the new Terminal 1A, formerly known as Terminal 4, where Kenya Airways is conducting the trial runs together with the Kenya Airport Authority before later this month a full opening of the new facility is expected, has eased the capacity constraints at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport ahead of the opening of further ‘temporary’ terminal which will bridge the time gap between now and ‘Project Greenfield’, a completely new mega terminal together with a second runway in a few years’ time.
The graph above shows the planned fleet expansion between now and 2020/21 under the airline’s strategic plan which over the next 6 years will double the number of passenger aircraft and add further dedicated cargo aircraft too as Kenya Airways is making headway also into the lucrative air cargo market.
Happy landings, always, to the new aircraft, the crew and all the passengers on board.