Boeing has delivered a 777-300ER (Extended Range) to GE Capital Aviation Services for lease to Kenya Airways. It is Kenya Airways’ first 777-300ER and the largest airplane in the carrier’s fleet, providing greater capacity, range and improved operating economics for its long-haul operations.
“The delivery of this Boeing 777-300ER aircraft marks a key milestone for us at Kenya Airways. Its long-haul capability is a perfect fit for our network expansion plans as it will enable us serve our existing long range markets much more effectively and facilitate the opening of routes in the near future,” said Kenya Airways’ Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Dr Titus Naikuni. “This is an important step as we continue opening up Africa to the rest of the world.”
The Boeing 777 is the world’s most successful twin-engine, long-haul airplane. Kenya Airways’ 777-300ER is configured with 400 seats, 28 in Premier World and 372 in Economy, and features USB ports, power sockets and an all-new in-flight entertainment system throughout the cabin. The airplane can fly up to 7,825 nautical miles (14,490 kilometers) and is equipped with GE90-115B engines, the world’s most powerful commercial jet engine.
Kenya Airways is set to take delivery of a further two 777-300ERs, including an additional lease, as part of the carrier’s 10-year strategic plan dubbed ‘Project Mawingu.’ The Nairobi-based carrier plans to increase its fleet size from 44 airplanes to 107 by 2021 and destinations from the current 62 to 115. Currently the airline operates an all-Boeing long-haul fleet of four 777-200ERs and six 767-300ERs.
“The 777-300ER will be an excellent addition to Kenya Airways’ rapidly expanding long-haul fleet, providing it with greater capacity, range and flexibility on new and existing routes,” said Van Rex Gallard, vice president of Sales for Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “We look forward to working in close partnership with Kenya Airways to provide it with exceptional airplanes as the carrier continues its ambitious growth plan to offer passengers a wider choice of destinations coupled with enhanced in-flight comfort.”
With this delivery, Kenya Airways is also working with Boeing to support the Alaskan Sudan Medical Project (ASMP) by carrying 10,400 lbs (4,717 kilograms) of humanitarian supplies on the 777-300ER’s delivery flight to Kenya. ASMP will use the supplies to build medical clinics, drill water wells and construct bio-sand filters for clean water in the Jonglei region of South Sudan. The humanitarian cargo will also include water pumps and agriculture equipment to support local farmers, fulfilling the ASMP’s mission statement of saving lives through health, clean water and agriculture.
Kenya Airways operates a fleet of more than 25 Boeing airplanes including, 777s, 767s and 737s. The carrier serves more than 60 destinations across Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe and has nine 787 Dreamliners currently on order from Boeing.