(eTN) Kenya Airways has confirmed that they have entered into an additional dry lease arrangement with an American leasing firm to provide two Embraer 190 jets, due to arrive later in the year in Nairobi. The airline already owns three Embraer 170 and earlier in the year leased two extra E170 from a Finnish carrier. The arrival of two slightly larger Embraers will help the airline to expand frequencies and network connections/destination in the coming months, which at present are hampered by the lack of enough aircraft to be deployed.
These latest additions make Kenya Airways the largest Embraer operator in Africa, and there is speculation in aviation circles if Embraer – a Brazilian aircraft manufacturer – may consider designating the KQ maintenance base in Nairobi as their preferred African MRO base and extend manufacturer support in terms of spare stores and technical support.
Meanwhile, in a related development, it was also confirmed that the delivery of the first state-of-the-art B 787 Dreamliner to Kenya Airways was not expected before 2013 but that additional deliveries of new generation B737s were on schedule.
No comments were received regarding a pending deal with Airbus to introduce A330 aircraft to the KQ fleet, as has long been speculated about. All eyes will be on the forthcoming Farnborough Aviation Fair, if an announcement may be made there.