, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 21 – Kenya Airways has boosted its fleet with the latest arrival of a new Embraer E-190 jet as its expansion eyes the lucrative African market.
It is the sixth out of 10 fully owned E-190 jets that Kenya Airways expects to take delivery of by mid this year.
The new aircraft is suited for short routes within the Africa continent, where the airline is keen on boosting its presence.
The E190 has 96 seats, 12 in business and in 84 economy class.
“Acquisition of the E-190 aircrafts is a step towards growing the airline network by route and frequency growth, and the E190 is ideal especially for new routes development, while increasing frequencies on existing routes,” said Titus Naikuni, the Kenya Airways Chief Executive Officer.
Naikuni added that with the addition of the aircraft to its fleet, the airline would be able to not only introduce new routes, but also increase frequencies to existing ones.
Africa is an important market for the airline, generating about half of its total revenue.
According to the operating statistics for the second quarter of 2012, African routes are amongst those that recorded growth despite a general slump in the global economy that was triggered by the crisis in the Euro zone.
Kenya Airways now boasts a fleet of 11 Embraer E190 Jets that includes five leased and six owned.
Under its 10-year strategic plan, Kenya Airways targets increasing its entire fleet to 119 by 2021, while growing the number of destinations to over 115 from the over 50 that it currently flies to.
In addition to the E-jets, Kenya Airways has also ordered nine Boeing 787 Dreamliners that are slated for delivery by 2014.