The east African carrier announced March 3rd that it was poised to induct the 787 type in its long haul fleet when the first aircraft is delivered by Boeing on April 4th 2014, later to be followed by another 5 aircraft all during this year alone.
Part of the 10-year airline strategic Plan ‘Mawingo’ which began in 2012, the airline is betting on sustainable growth by focusing on Far East Asia. This year will see the opening of 2 new routes in China with service to Beijing set to begin on September 24th with using a 787 Dreamliner and Shanghai is also in line to be served by the end of the year, (according to CAPA web site). These routes would come to complement the current Guangzhou route , which is currently served alongside Bangkok and Hong Kong. The newly expanded fleet capabilities made possible by the introduction of the state-of-the-art 787 Dreamliner in addition to new 777-300ERs also joining the fleet will permit to offer direct flights from Nairobi to Guangzhou instead of via Bangkok.
The 777-300ER, the other highly successful but larger long haul twin engine by Boeing is also being integrated to the carrier’s long term plan. When Kenya Airways took delivery of its first 777-300ER on October 25th 2013, the high seating density configuration applied to that aircraft consisting of a total of 400 seats, with 28 in Premier World and 372 in Economy confirmed effort to transform the carrier’s Nairobi Kenyatta International Airport into a fully fledged global hub. Now the carrier is set to receive two more final 777-300ERs this year also.
With plans to increase its fleet size from 44 airplanes to 107 by 2021 and scale the number of destinations from the current 62 to 115, the airline will expect to operate in the near term a total of 9 brand new Boeing 787 and 3 Boeing 777-300ER alongside its four current 777-200ERs and the six older 767-300ERs which have formed the backbone of its long haul fleet but whose retirement days are approaching.