April 4th, 2014 was an exciting day for Boeing and Kenya Airways. A new 787 Dreamliner was delivered to the African airline, which will be the first of nine planned 787 Dreamliners set to join its fleet.
The Dreamliner departed Paine Field in Everett for a 7,800 mile nonstop flight to Kenya Airways’ home base in Nairobi at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
The deliveries of additional 787s, along with 777-300ER (Extended Range) airplanes, forms part of the Kenya Airline’s 10-year strategic plan called “Project Mawingu” (Project Wings). The plan is focused on increasing the airline’s fleet size from 44 airplanes to 107 by 2021 and adding more destinations, from 62 to 115. All of its current airplanes are Boeing made.
“The delivery of our first ever 787 Dreamliner not only opens a new chapter for our airline, but also for Kenya,” said Dr. Titus Naikuni, chief executive officer, Kenya Airways. “The 787 will enable Kenya Airways to explore new markets, improve its economic performance, provide passengers with revolutionary comfort, while continuing to contribute towards the sustainable development of Africa.”
Kenya Airways’ first 787 is scheduled to begin flying regionally within Africa in the coming weeks, before beginning service to Paris in early June. Currently the airline serves destinations across Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East.
To date, more than 130 Dreamliners have been delivered to 17 customers worldwide. A couple members of the Trade Alliance staff had the pleasure to experience the Dreamliner first-hand during the 2015 International Leadership Mission – via All Nippon Airways from Seattle to Tokyo. It was an incredible ride!