Kenya Airways receives first Dreamliner

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Kenya Airways on Friday took delivery of its first of nine 787 Dreamliners, which departed Boeing’s Paine Field in Everett for a 7 800 nautical mile (14 456 km) nonstop flight to Kenya Airways’ home base in Nairobi at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

“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, chief executive officer, 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 787 is scheduled to begin flying regionally within Africa in the coming weeks, before beginning long-haul service to Paris in early June, Boeing said in a statement.
“The 787 provides carriers with the flexibility to expand their networks and reduce operating costs, while offering passengers an unsurpassed in-flight experience,” said Van Rex Gallard, vice president of sales for Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “The 787 will be an outstanding addition to Kenya Airways’ fleet, providing the cornerstone of the airline’s future success and enabling it to continue its mission to connect Africa to the world, and the world to Africa.”

The delivery is the first of nine 787 Dreamliners set to join Kenya Airways’ fleet. The deliveries of additional 787s, along with 777-300ER (Extended Range) aircraft, forms part of the East African carrier’s 10-year strategic plan called “Project Mawingu.” The plan is focused on increasing the airline’s fleet size from 44 airplanes to 107 by 2021 and destinations from the current 62 to 115. Currently the Nairobi-based carrier operates a long-haul fleet of six 767-300ERs, four 777-200ERs and one 777-300ER.



The Dreamliner, made up of 50% composites by weight, is designed for fuel efficiency. Boeing says it uses 20% less fuel than today’s similarly sized aircraft.