Kenya Airways (KQ),the country's national carrier has boosted its fleet with the latest arrival of a new Embraer E-190 jet as it sets its eye on the lucrative African market.
The aircraft is the sixth out of 10 fully-owned E-190 jets that are due for delivery by mid this year. The new aircraft is suited for short regional routes within the Africa continent where the airline is keen on boosting its presence.
The E190, which is registered as 5Y – FFF, has 96 seats, 12 in business and 84 economy class. With this addition Kenya Airways has a total of 11 Embraer E190s currently flying within its livery.
“Acquisition of the E-190 aircrafts is a step towards growing the airline network by route and frequency growth, and the E190 is ideal especially for new routes development, while increasing frequencies on existing routes," said Kenya Airways Chief Executive Officer, Dr Titus Naikuni.
Africa is an important market for the airline, generating about half of the airline’s total revenue.
Despite difficult times in the recent past, the courier has managed to maintain its resilience. According to the operating statistics for the second quarter of 2012, African routes are amongst those that recorded growth despite a general slump in the global economy which was triggered by the Eurozone crisis.
Under its 10-year strategic plan, KQ intends to increase its fleet to 119 by 2021, while growing the number of destinations to over 115 from the 50-plus destinations that it currently flies to.
In addition to the E-jets, Kenya Airways has also ordered nine Boeing 787 Dreamliners that are slated for delivery by 2014. The airline has also ordered two wide-body Boeing 777-300ER twin engine long range aircraft that will boost its trans-oceanic bids, especially in the European and East Asian markets. The move will increase its fleet from two to four Boeing 777-200ER jets.
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