Voice of Sport

Kenya Sevens rugby sponsors, KQ, bag another brand new ‘dream’ plane

Historic moment in Africa as Captain Koki delivers 4th Dreamliner


KENYA Airways, long time sponsors of the successful Kenya Sevens rugby team, on Thursday received their fourth Dreamliner aircraft.

Africa’s first black female Boeing 787 Dreamliner certified Captain, Irene Koki Mutungi, jetted into the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in the afternoon to deliver Kenya Airways’ fourth Dreamliner.

All-female cabin crew

In a feat that will go down history as a first in Africa’s aviation industry, the Kenya Airways crew that flew in the new aircraft also included a female Flight Purser, Load Master and Cabin Crew.

The wide-bodied plane’s delivery from the manufacturer’s — Boeing Corporation — Assembly Site in Charleston, South Carolina, in the United States to Kenya Airways’ Nairobi hub, now pushes KQ’s fleet count to 37 planes in active operation.

Aircraft Type              Number

787-8                                4

777-300ER                      3

777-200ER                      4

737-800                            5

737-700                            4

737-300F                          2

E190                                 15

TOTAL                               37

At exactly 12:45pm, the fourth Dreamliner landed to a well-deserved round of public applause and ceremonial water canon shower by the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) Fire Brigade team.

On hand to receive Captain Mutungi and her all-ladies crew was Kenya Airways Finance Director Mr. Alex Mbugua who acknowledged the historical milestone in the delivery of the aircraft.

Equal opportunity

“This is a historical moment for Kenya Airways as we have proved to the world and our aviation peers of our deliberate commitment to human resource development by providing an equal opportunity to our sisters,” Mbugua said.

“I look forward to a day in the near future when this aircraft will be managed by a 100% Ladies crew now that we have two first officers already undergoing certification training,” he added.

Globally, Captain Koki is highly regarded as the first black female pilot certified to captain the state-of-the-art super-efficient airplane that is fast becoming the darling of leading global commercial air operators.

Fleet
As part of its fleet renewal strategy, Kenya Airways is in the process of taking delivery of five more Dreamliner airplanes from Boeing Corporation, to complete an order for nine such aircraft.

By receiving the fourth Dreamliner and with two more to go by October this year, Kenya Airways is maintaining its corporate focus on a strategic effort to renew its aircraft fleet to guarantee cost efficient service delivery.

Renewal

Within this fleet renewal and turnaround programme, Mbugua confirmed, Kenya Airways has already received four Dreamliner aircrafts which have already commenced operations on the Nairobi-Paris, Nairobi-Johannesburg and the Nairobi-Bangkok-Hong Kong routes. The B767-300ER Fleet – which is being replaced by the new Dreamliner Fleet – has already been removed from service.

Alongside the Dreamliner deliveries, KQ has also received two Boeing 777-300ER aircrafts this year.

Customer experience

“Besides enhancing our operational efficiencies and overall bottom-line, the fleet renewal program is expected to improve the customer experience especially in the wide body fleet,” Mbugua assured.

“This fleet renewal program also provides us with an opportunity to maintain our edge as a globally competitive airline. Indeed, we are among the first twenty Boeing 787 customers in the world.”

As part of the airline’s long term fleet and route development strategy, over the next 10 years KQ is implementing a plan geared at growing the fleet size, modernizing the aircraft equipment and simplifying it by reducing the number of aircraft types from seven to four.

–  Reporting by sokodirectory.com