NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 27 – The National flag carrier Kenya Airways continued on its drive to grow and modernize its aircraft fleet size when it took delivery of a brand new Embraer airliner.
The plane, which was expected to arrive this month touched down on its scheduled delivery at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on Sunday.
The very first E190 Advanced Range (AR) aircraft from Embraer’s factory in San Jose Dos Campos, Brazil joined the existing fleet of Embraer 170s, bringing the total E-Jet fleet size to six aircraft. The aircraft has been designated with the registration 5Y-KYP.
Speaking at the firm’s head office, Kenya Airways Chief Operating Officer Bram Steller said the aircraft would first be taken through a standardization process before it commenced service.
“The aircraft will be on ground for about two weeks to allow preparations for it to commence commercial service including installation of the KQ standard cabin emergency equipment and training pilots, crew, engineers, ground handlers and dispatchers,” explained Steller.
He noted that this process was very important as it enabled all the relevant people familiarize themselves with the aircraft.
Steller said that the new Embraer was very critical to the airline’s regional route expansion process as it would serve on the medium to long range African destinations. “In line with our growth and efficiency strategy, the Embraer fleet introduces more efficient aircraft that will bolster our regional network to respond to growing passenger and cargo demand and our rapidly expanding route network,” he added.
The new Embraer 190 is the first of two aircraft that Kenya Airways had ordered from Jetscape in July this year.
It offers the high comfort that has come to be expected on the E170’s but in addition it is fitted with state of the art in-seat In-Flight Entertainment Technology. “The Embraer 190 is a state-of-the-art regional jet incorporating the latest avionics and a full in-seat IFE system. It will bring to our fleet an even higher level of technological advancement, lower maintenance and operational costs and will afford our passengers excellent cabin comfort in a true dual-class configuration of 12 business class and 84 Economy seats”, he said.
Steller pointed out that the model was optimum for Kenya Airways regional routes at the 100-seat range. He added that the aircraft is fitted with a business class section which was in high demand on the current E170 routes. The aircraft will service the Lusaka, Lilongwe, Nampula, Harare and Addis Ababa Djibouti routes.