Kenya Airways has reached a major milestone in its development, with the arrival of its first Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft.
The Kenyan flag carrier’s first B787-8 departed Boeing’s factory in Everett, Washington state, on Friday 4 April 2014, bound for its new home at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
The Dreamliner is the first major commercial aircraft manufactured using composite materials, making it lighter and approximately 20% more fuel-efficient that other similar-sized aircraft.
“The delivery of our first ever 787 Dreamliner not only opens a new chapter for our airline, but also for Kenya,” said Dr Titus Naikuni, CEO of Kenya Airways. “The 787 will enable Kenya Airways to explore new markets, improve its economic performance, provide passengers with revolutionary comfort, while continuing to contribute towards the sustainable development of Africa.”
Kenya Airways’ first B787-8 is scheduled to commence operations to destinations within Africa in the coming weeks. Its first long-haul service to Paris will then get underway in early June. Following this first delivery, Kenya Airways will receive a further eight B787s, which it will use to replace its existing fleet of six B767-300ERs.
In addition to the Dreamliners, Kenya Airways will welcome two more B777-300ERs in the coming months. These new long-range aircraft form part of the carrier’s 10-year plan called “Project Mawingu”, which is focused on increasing the airline’s fleet size from 44 to 107 aircraft by 2021 and extending its network from 62 destinations to 115.