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Kenya Airways
Founded 1977
Hubs Jomo Kenyatta International Airport
Focus cities Moi International Airport
Frequent flyer program Flying Blue
Member lounge Simba Lounge
Alliance SkyTeam (associate)
Fleet size 26 (+ 9 orders, 5 options)
Destinations 46
Company slogan "The Pride of Africa"
Headquarters Nairobi, Kenya
Key people Titus Naikuni (CEO)
Alex Mbugua (CFO)
Evanson Mwaniki (Chairman)

Kenya Airways is the flag carrier airline of Kenya, based in Nairobi. It started operations on 4 February 1977, and operates scheduled services throughout Africa, Europe and east Asia, including India, with its main base at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi.[1] Moi International Airport in Mombasa serves as a focus city.



The airline was established in February 1977, after the break-up of the East African Community and the consequent demise of East African Airways[2] and was wholly owned by the Kenyan government until April 1996.

In 1986, Sessional Paper Number 1 was published by Kenya's government, outlining the country's need for economic development and growth. The document stressed the government opinion that the airline would be better off if owned by private interests, thus resulting in the first attempt to privatise the airline. The government named Mr Philip Ndegwa as Chairman of the Board in 1991, with specific orders to privatise the airline. He heads a renewed company cabinet. In 1992, the Public Enterprise Reform paper was published, giving Kenya Airways priority among national companies in Kenya to be privatized.

Boeing 767 in the pre-2005 paint scheme.

In the fiscal year 1993 to 1994, the airline produced its first profit since the start of commercialization. Also, in 1994, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), was appointed to provide assistance in the privatization process. In 1995, Kenya Airways restructured its debts and a made a master corporation agreement with KLM that bought 26% of the shares in Kenya Airways and became the largest single shareholder. In 1996, shares were floated to the public, and the airline started trading on the Nairobi Stock Exchange. In October 2004, the company cross-listed its shares at the Dar-es-Salaam Stock Exchange. In April 2004, the company re-introduced Kenya Airways Cargo as a brand and in July 2004, the company's domestic subsidiary Flamingo Airlines was re-absorbed.

Boeing 777-200ER taking off.

In 2005, Kenya Airways changed its livery. The four stripes running the length of the fuselage were replaced by the slogan "Pride of Africa". The KA tail logo was replaced by a styled "K" encircled with a "Q" to evoke the "KQ" call letters for the airline. In the 6 months ending 30 September 2005, profits after tax rose 48% vs 2004-5 to Kshs 2.231 Billion (US$30 Million) and over 1.2 million passengers were carried.

In the 6 months ending 30 September 2004, profit after tax was $19.5 million, compared to $4.5 million for the same period the previous year. This has been attributed to KTAP (Kenya Airways TurnAround Project) overhauling the airline's revenue management, cost structures and route and fleet planning.[3]

In the full-year results ending 31 March 2005, profits after tax almost tripled over 2003-4 to Kshs 3.882 Billion (US$50 Million) and over 2 million passengers were carried.

Kenya Airways announced record profit growth for 2005-06. After-tax profits increased from 3.88 billion Kenya shillings (about $54 million USD) to 4.83 billion shillings. [4]

In March 2006, Kenya Airways won the 'African Airline of the Year' Award for 2005, for the fifth time in seven years.[5]

Passenger numbers in the fiscal year 2006 (April 2006 – March 2007) were a record 2.6 million.[6]

On September 4, 2007, SkyTeam, the second-largest airline alliance in the world, welcomed Kenya Airways as one of the first official SkyTeam Associate Airlines.[7]

The airline is owned by individual Kenyan shareholders (30.94%), KLM (now Air France-KLM) (26%), Kenyan government (23%), Kenyan institutional investors (14.2%), foreign institutional investors (4.47%) and individual foreign investors (1.39%).[8] It has 2,408 employees (at March 2007). Kenya Airways also owns 49% of Precision Air in Tanzania.[1]


For a complete list of destinations, see: Kenya Airways destinations

Kenya Airways codeshares with KLM and Air France, giving passengers access to European destinations, including Glasgow, Athens, Rome, Zurich, Birmingham, Manchester, Madrid, Copenhagen, Berlin, Frankfurt and Barcelona. Service to Seoul is codesharing with Korean Air.


As of November 2009, the Kenya Airways fleet consists of 26 aircraft:[9]

Aircraft Total Orders Passengers
(Premier World/Economy)
Boeing 737-300 4 116 (16/100)
Boeing 737-700 4 116 (16/100)
Boeing 737-800 5 145 (16/129)
Boeing 767-300ER 6 216 (20/196) 5Y-KYY new lease 235 (20/215)
Boeing 777-200ER 4 (1 option) 322 (28/294)
Boeing 787-8 (9 orders)
(4 options)
Embraer 170LR 3 72 GECAS Lease
Total 26

Kenya Airways average fleet age is 8 years (as of November 2009).[10]

  • In 2004, the airline took delivery of three Boeing 767-300 Extended Range 221-seater aircraft and acquired two Boeing 737-700 jets with blended winglets. Another two B767-300 were leased in February and March from GECAS and the Airbus A310 fleet retired. In 2005, Kenya Airways ordered three Boeing 777-200ER aircraft, with the last delivery in February 2007, at a cost of ~$500 million.
  • In 2006, Kenya Airways ordered six Boeing 787 Dreamliners and plans to replace its Boeing 767s with the Dreamliners, beginning with the delivery of two aircraft in 2010, and four in 2011.[11]
  • As stated in a November 11, 2009 press release, Kenya Airways has leased a newer 767-300ER to replace an older version. The new aircraft reg. 5Y-KYY will have 20 seats business class (55" pitch) and 215 economy (32" pitch).[12]

Entertainment on Aircraft

Boeing 777-200ER

Premier World entertainment on the Boeing 777 is AVOD (Audio Video on Demand). It includes around 10 to 15 movies and some t.v shows. Economy class has NVOD as entertainment, it is almost the same as AVOD. In Premier World you can choose the movie you want to watch anytime you like. Both classes include 12 audio channels that work throughout your flight.

Boeing 767-300ER

The Boeing 767-300ER has personal televisions in all classes. Both classes have 11 TV channels with stereo sound. Unlike on the Boeing 777, Boeing 767 TVs are not on demand. Channels are in French and English. Both classes have 8 channels of audio.

Boeing 737-800

The Boeing 737-800 has overhead screens in all cabins and they both have 8 channels of audio throughout the flight.

Boeing 737-700

The Boeing 737-700 has overhead screens in all cabins and they both have 8 channels of audio throughout the flight.

Boeing 737-300

The Boeing 737-300 has background music playing throughout the flight.

Incidents and accidents

  • On 5 May 2007, Kenya Airways Flight 507, a Boeing 737-800, crashed 5.4 kilometres southeast of Douala International Airport in a mangrove swamp[13], after taking off for Nairobi. The flight originated in Abidjan, with a stopover in Douala to pick up passengers. The plane was carrying 105 passengers from 26 countries and 9 crew members. All perished in the incident. Rescue efforts were hampered by the difficult terrain around the crash site and unpleasant weather conditions.


  1. ^ a b "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International: p. 100. 2007-04-03.  
  2. ^ Kenya Airways: History
  3. ^ Airliner World, March 2005
  4. ^ Business in Africa
  5. ^ Kenya Airways: Kenya Airways Wins African Aviation Award March 14, 2006
  6. ^ Kenya Airways: 2006/07 Year end results March 31, 2007
  7. ^ Kenya Airways: SkyTeam strengthens global network with addition of three Associate Airlines September 4, 2007
  8. ^ Kenya Airways: Kenya Airways Shareholder Profile March 31, 2006
  9. ^ Kenya Airways: Our Fleet 14 November 2009
  10. ^ Kenya Airways Fleet Age 14 November 2009
  11. ^ Boeing – Kenya Airways to Add Boeing 787 Dreamliners 06 March 2006
  12. ^ Kenya Airways: Kenya Airways increases aircraft fleet 11 November 2009
  13. ^ – Investigators trawl swamps 15 July 2007

External links


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