Kenya Airways amps upBy IAG | March 23rd, 2012 | Posted in Aviation News | No Comments
Reuters reports that Kenya Airways has big growth plans. By undertaking a rights offer, and seeing its major shareholders step up, the airline clearly feels emboldened. And it should. Traffic from Asia to Africa is booming and Kenya is a natural African aviation entry point. Although Kenya's economy is not large – for example as large as South Africa's – it is geographically ideally located for Asian air service.
This means Nairobi could seem tremendous increases in traffic if the airline succeeds in its plans. And the growth in jobs that accompanies this. There is every chance it will succeed. Its close ties with AF/KLM are crucial – the EU airline will ensure fleet decisions are made at prices they pay rather than Kenya Airways would pay if it were buying by itself. Moreover, given that the airline will be looking for long haul planes, both Airbus and Boeing will offer sharp deals. The A330/350 combination will be made especially attractive. Boeing will focus on a solution with either or both of the 787 and 777. The airline is a Boeing customer when it comes to long haul airplanes. But the airline will clearly be guided by its friends at AF/KLM as it ponders the growing of its long haul fleet. Don't be surprised it it selects Airbus as increasingly airlines like to support both OEMs.
That said, we would not be surprised to see the airline's order for nine 787-8s be modified like so many others by converting some to the -9. If Kenya Airways is to offer the best combination of passenger and cargo the 787-9 might better suit their needs. It certainly looks like this airline is on a path to become the most effective flag bearer of the Africa airlines.