Embraer and the Pride of Africa Kenya Airways have finalized the contract for the acquisition of 10 EMBRAER 190 jets. This agreement completes contract negotiations following the signing of a Letter of Intent during the 49th Paris Air Show in June 2011. The deal also includes purchase rights for 16 aircraft, which could be either the EMBRAER 190 or other models of the E-Jet family.
“This final agreement from Kenya Airways for more aircraft in its fleet demonstrates not only its confidence in the future but also its endorsement of the versatility of our family of E-Jets”, said Paulo César de Souza e Silva, Embraer President, Commercial Aviation. “This confirmation is a sign that our E-Jets have been instrumental in the growth of our largest operator in Sub Saharan Africa, and provided it with an optimal tool to develop new routes while providing their customers with a reliable and comfortable aircraft.”
Kenya Airways’ E190s will be configured in a dual-class layout with 96 seats: 12 in business class and 84 in economy. Furthermore, all passengers will benefit from a modern in-flight entertainment system with individual touch screens. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in the third quarter of 2012.
This fleet modernization will boost the airline’s aggressive network expansion strategy and in particular, boost plans to fly to all African capital cities by the end of 2013.
“The EMBRAER 190 fleet will be key in ensuring Kenya Airways becomes the leading carrier on the continent, interlinking African cities and, through our Nairobi hub, connecting Africa to the world,” said Dr. Titus Naikuni, Group Managing Director & Chief Executive of Kenya Airways. “The EMBRAER 190’s excellent range, efficiency, size and superior level comfort will allow us to increase frequencies and start new routes along with improving the overall passenger flying experience throughout Africa.”
With this new contract, the total number of E-Jets ordered by Kenya Airways is boosted to 20, considering aircraft acquired directly from Embraer or through leasing companies. Today, the airline is today operating five E170s and two E190s under agreement with leasing companies. Three E190 jets from a previous order have still to be delivered this year and in 2012.
Kenya Airways has embarked on an aggressive network expansion program to cater for the growing travel market. The combination of the E170 and 190 in Kenya Airways network will offer greater flexibility in right sizing the aircraft to meet route demand, using the same crew and ensuring consistent service level.