African airline Kenya Airways, which forms part of global airline alliance SkyTeam, has added another Embraer E190 to its fleet.
The company is currently aiming at expanding its destinations in Africa, while increasing frequencies on existing routes.
This brings the number of Embraer aircraft operated by the national carrier to ten. The latest acquisition is the delivery of the three E190s acquired from Air Lease Corporation.
Kenya Airways CEO Dr Titus Naikuni said that increasing the number of Embraer aircraft would facilitate the airline consolidating its presence on the continent, where it currently flies to 45 destinations.
“With a four-hour flight range, Embraer is a versatile aircraft that we have identified as suitable for our plans to consolidate our presence in the African routes. It has indeed proved very valuable in supporting our ongoing growth plans for Africa,” explained Naikuni.
Registered as 5Y-KYT, the new aircraft has a capacity of 96 passengers, 12 business class and 84 economy. The aircraft arrived in Kenya early this week flown by a team of three pilots including Captain Isaac Onyango and Captain Ashwyn Mehri in command and First Officer, Alex Ngotho Mbugua.
Currently, the company uses Embraer aircraft on domestic and short regional routes including Kisumu, Entebbe, Kigali, Bujumbura, Addis Ababa, Djibouti, Maputo, Gaborone and Nampula. The airline plans to open two new destinations in July to Kilimanjaro, in Tanzania and Eldoret, in Kenya.
Further, it also plans to open a new route to Beirut, Lebanon, by the end of the year.
The acquisition of Embraer, a narrow body aircraft, is significant as it complements Kenya Airways’ wide-body fleet while allowing the airline to fly on short to medium range routes with lower fuel costs.