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05th November, 2013.

Kenya Airways starts Dreamliner countdown

Kenya Airways (KQ)confirmed that they have started the regulatory process of including the B787 Dreamliner in their fleet, as they are preparing to formally introduce their latest aircraft, a Boeing B777-300ER to the Kenyan public this morning.

The airline had filed an application with the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority to amend their air service license and include the B787 as one of the aircraft operated by them, and approved by the authority.

Due process requires, as the anticipated delivery of the first such aircraft in March next year will also be the first ever registered in the country, that the Kenya CAA is involved in the process and approved the aircraft type for operations under Kenyan registry.

The first step has now been taken as the latest Kenya Gazette Notice has notified the general public of such an application received and being processed by KCAA.

Additional measures will be the submission by the airline of type specific operations manuals, maintenance manuals, and other mandatory documentation, all of which will be reviewed and processed by KCAA's technical officials before the aircraft will receive clearance for registration and finally to be delivered by Boeing to the national airline.

KQ at present has 9 such aircraft under order and also has additional options to be converted in to firm orders on the drawing board, something which the expansion plans outlined under Plan Mawingo the airline's strategic 10 year plan.

With rising fuel costs, the arrival of the new aircraft has gained even great significance as the present fleet of 6 B767-300 aircraft is aged and consumes more fuel.

While no specific confirmation has been received about the specific dates when the old B767 fleet will be phased out, it is thought that once at least two, perhaps three of the new B787s are in service, the older B767 will be retired as more of the B787 are delivered, leading to both an increase in operating fleet, as well as avoiding interruptions of service by phasing out the 767s too soon.

Source: eTN

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