Kenya Airways, the Pride of Africa, is expected to grow its capacity with the arrival of a new Embraer E190 jet to KQ’s fleet.
Registered as 5Y-KYR, the E190 touched down at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport yesterday at 2100hrs from Sao Jose dos Campos, Embraer Headquarters in Brazil. As the KYR made its way to Nairobi another Kenya Airways E190 made its maiden test flight in Brazil and is expected to be delivered to Nairobi by next month.
KYR is expected into service within the next two weeks and will be deployed to operate to the South, Central and North Africa regions.
The new 96seater aircraft will join the growing family of Embraer jets that Kenya Airways uses for its regional operations in Africa. This is in line with the plans to build capacity that is more efficient for its Africa market which is the core focus for the Pride of Africa.
“With our route network expansion firmly on course, the addition of a new aircraft into the fleet is quite timely,” said the Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Titus Naikuni.
He added that the increase in capacity had been necessitated by growing regional passenger and cargo demand and a rapidly expanding route network.
The third Embraer E190 arrival is in fulfillment of an order that the airline placed last year. The first jet was delivered in December 2010 with the second jet joining KQ fleet in June this year. Two more E190 jets are yet to be delivered with one E190 expected in a few weeks.
Recently Embraer and Kenya Airways finalized the contract for the acquisition of 10 EMBRAER 190 jets. The deal also includes purchase rights for 16 aircraft, which could be either the EMBRAER 190 or other models of the E-Jet family.
The Embraer E190 is a Brazilian-built state of the art regional jet. Kenya Airways’ E190s will be configured in a dual-class layout with 96 seats: 12 in business class and 84 in economy. Furthermore, all passengers will benefit from a modern in-flight entertainment system with individual touch screens. It brings to Kenya Airways an even higher level of technological advancement, lower maintenance and operational costs.
The airline now has five E170s and three E190s as part of its aggressive network and fleet expansion program to cater for the growing travel market.
Dr. Naikuni said “The combination of the E170 and E190 in our network will offer greater flexibility in right-sizing the aircraft to meet route demand, using the same crew and ensuring consistent, high comfort for our passengers”.
This fleet modernization will boost the airline’s aggressive network expansion strategy and in particular, boost plans to fly to all African capital cities by the end of 2013.