Kenya Airways has revealed plans to sell two of its Boeing B777-200ER’s to US based Omni Air International as it seeks to rationalize its fleet as part of its turnaround strategy.
In November 2014, Kenya Airways (KQ) announced its intention to sell several such planes which were replaced with state of the art Boeing B787-8’s.
Group Managing Director and CEO Mbuvi Ngunze said: "I am pleased that we have reached this milestone. Although we announced our intention to rationalize our fleet in line with our current position more than a year ago, it has taken a while to find a good home for our B777-200."
In a statement released by the airline yesterday, the two aircrafts will be leaving for their new home in the next two months after Kenya Airways completes their handover preparation. The first plane will leave for the US before end of January while the second one will be transferred in the following weeks.
KQ has been incurring major losses. In the last financial year, the airline had up to Sh25.7 billion as loss. This, the group argued was a result of increased competition from Middle East carriers as well as high operating costs. Furthermore, the group said travel advisories that led to a slump in the tourism industry, and runway closures for renovation were to blame.
According to the statement, the aircraft were delivered new to Kenya Airways between 2004 and 2007 and operated on its scheduled routes especially on long haul routes to Asia and Europe. The aircraft are powered by Rolls Royce Trent 892B engines and currently configured with 28 business and 294 economy seats.
Omni Air International is a US based airline providing global passenger ACMI wet lease and charter programs.
Kenya Airways, a member of the Sky Team Alliance, is a leading African airline flying to 52 destinations worldwide, 42 of which are in Africa and carries over four million passengers annually.
Mr Mbuvi expressed his contentment with the plan saying that they (KQ) were satisfied with the sale and the group “will make other important announcements on fleet rationalization later this month.”