NAIROBI, Kenya, May 27 – Kenya Airways (KQ) has delivered the second B777-300ER aircraft to Turkish Airlines and the second B787-8 to Oman Air (OMA) this week as part of sub-lease agreements with the two carriers.
The pacts are part of Kenya Airways’ strategy as it seeks to rationalise its excess capacity through sub-leases and outright sales.
“While it is sad to see brand new aircraft going to other airlines, it is important to understand the context in which we are taking these decisions. We need to close our gap in profitability and rapidly reduce our cost and debt structure,” Kenya Airways GMD and CEO Mbuvi Ngunze said.
The deal with Turkish Airlines is for three aircraft, two of which have been handed over so far, and one more to be de-registered and transferred next week. The aircraft are on lease for four to five years.
On the other hand, Oman Air received the first 787 in April with the second one completing the sub-lease transaction, which is for three years.
“Sub-leasing aircraft is a complex process involving significant negotiations and this has taken close to seven months to complete. I want to pay particular tribute to the teams involved in the process for their hard work and dedication to see this through,” Mbuvi added.
The transactions are expected to reduce the airline’s monthly fleet costs by over Sh703.9milion ($7 million), and improve its liquidity, and is part of our strategy to turn Kenya Airways into profitability in the next 18 to 24 months.
Earlier in the year, KQ sold and delivered to Omni Air International (Omni) two B777-200ERs.
The airline plans to continue to utilise its B787, B737 and E190 fleets across its network.