Nairobi- Kenya (PANA) -- Kenya Airways (KQ) is awaiting the delivery of its third Brazilian-made aircraft, Embraer 170 LR, and three other jets from American manufacturer Boeing to bolster its regional route expansion, company executive said.
Kenya Airways said in a statement Wednesday that the company was awaiting the delivery of the third Embraer Long Range aircraft in the first week of August from the Brazilian manufacturer, to boost its fleet currently plying regional air routes in the region.
The new Embraer is the first of four aircraft which Kenya Airways expects to be delivered this year.
The other three are Boeing B737-800, the first of which is also expected to be delivered in August from the Seattle-based Boeing.
"Our 3rd Embraer 170 LR aircraft is in production at Embraer's main facility in San Jose dos Campos, Brazil.
It is scheduled to arrive in Nairobi during the first week of August," said the KQ Managing Director and CEO, Titus Naikuni.
The Embraer is a 72-seater jet, which will join two others currently plying the domestic and regional routes of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and Zambia.
Naikuni said Embraers were suited for the regional routes because of their short ground turnaround time, common parts and low maintenance costs.
He said in an environment of ever-increasing oil prices, the high fuel efficiency of the E170 would also be an asset to better maximise KQ's revenue.
Since 2001, Kenya Airways has spent over US$1.
04 billion on modernising its fleet and upgrading its ground handling equipment and its technology to cater for its 43 destinations in 39 countries.
The carrier recently implemented an enterprise resource planning (ERP) e-commerce technology in its Human Resource and Finance departments to help reduce its costs and enhance its revenue management, company executives said.
The Kenyan airline, which retained its record as one of the few African carriers to retain a certain level of profitability in the competitive aviation industry, is currently battling to stay afloat following the loss of its 737-800 in a crash in Douala, Cameroon, in May 2007.
The airline's full-year profits slid to 3.
9 billion Kenya Shillings (US$57 million) in 2007/08, from 4.
1 billion Shillings, as a result of a stronger local currency against the dollar and the increasing cost of fuel, which has continued to reduce its profit margins.
Kenyan aviation authorities said on Wednesday that the airline was likely to introduce direct flights to the United States, following the signing of a bilateral air services agreement with the US government in June this year.