Kenya: KA in talks with suppliers to speed up delivery of aircraft

(HornTrade) – Kenya Airways (KA) has opened discussions with Airbus, a European aircraft manufacturing consortium, following an apparent delay in the delivery of new 787 aircraft it had ordered from rival US firm, Boeing.

“We are faced with the threat of operating inefficient aircraft and that is why we are engaged in discussions with the two aircraft manufacturers. We expect the first deliveries from Boeing in October 2013,” said Titus Naikuni, CEO, Kenya Airways Limited.

Kenya Airways Chief Executive Titus Naikuni and the Head of Marketing Dick Omondi (left), address the press during the Annual General Meeting yesterday at the Bomas of Kenya on Friday. He spoke on Friday during the company’s 34th Annual General Meeting at the Bomas of Kenya, Nairobi.

A delay in delivery of new long haul aircrafts to Kenya Airways comes when the airline has increased flights to an estimated 40 destinations in Africa.

In the current financial year, Kenya Airways plans to fly into nine new destinations, most of these in Africa, which accounts for more than 70 per cent of its overall business.

“We need to modernise our fleet and improve on recruitment of more cabin crew and engineers,” said Naikuni.

Although reduced spending as a result of the global economic crisis affected the airline’s performance, air traffic in Kenya remained unchanged. This is despite cancellation of flights into Malindi and Kisumu to allow for renovation of these facilities.

” We are yet to resume flights to Malindi while expansion work is now complete in Kisumu. We expect modernisation work at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to take between 3 to 4 years,” said Naikuni.

Kenya Airways had its performance hit by an industrial action last year.

“The agreement we signed with union workers increased our overheads by about 28 per cent or Sh3 billion,” said Naikuni.

Kenya Airways has been dealing with the problem of delayed flights and stolen cargo.

The airline acknowledges the existence of flight delays but insists that this is due to traffic congestion especially along Mombasa road that links the city to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).

” We need to decongest the city of Nairobi and reduce the cost of doing business. we are working on plans for a commuter railway linking Embakasi and JKIA to ease transport to and from the airport,” said Cyrus Njiru, PS transport and a director of the airline.

Kenya Airways is also working with the Kenya Airports Authority and the police to curb rising cases of luggage theft.

source: standardmedia.co.ke

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