Weeks after Nigerian airline operator, Air Peace, maintained that it will not cancel its orders for Boeing 737-Max 8, Kenya’s national carrier, Kenya Airways, has also declared its intention to stick with the Boeing brand.
Kenya Airways is planning to order up to ten of the planes at an estimated total ost of $1.2 billion (Sh120 billion). According to the company’s Chairman, Michael Joseph, Kenyan Airways is going ahead with the decision to acquire the Boeing 737-Max 8 models despite global condemnation of the plane brand after a series of deadly crashes.
Boeing is losing popularity – From being one of the most sought after aircraft in the world, the Boeing 737-Max 8 has become unpopular globally no thanks to two deadly crashes that involved the jet model.
As we reported earlier today, the crashes involving Ethiopian Airline and Indonesia’s Lion Air flight, were all caused by Boeing‘s hasty manufacturing of the Boeing 737 Max 8 model.
Many stakeholders are boycotting the jet maker – Recall that the two deadly crashes occurred in the space of five months. This prompted many countries who already have the Boeing 737-Max 8 in their fleet to ground the planes, even Indonesian airline, Garuda Indonesia, cancelled its order of the model.
Kenya Airways has its reasons
Kenya Airways is sticking to the Boeing brand in a bid to reduce operational cost. The government-run airline said it is cost-effective to maintain a similar brand from the same manufacturer. In other words, acquiring air planes from a new manufacturer like Airbus would mean extra costs for pilot training and maintenance of the planes.
“The only option that we have planned for is the Boeing 737-800 Max because this will make it easier for us to conduct training and maintenance of the aircraft.
“We hope that between now and the time when we are ready to acquire the new fleet, Boeing will have solved the current problem.”
Kenya Airways currently has a fleet of 40 planes – The fleet is a mixture of Boeing jets and the Brazilian-made Embraer 190. The aircraft comprises 20 that the national carrier fully owns and another 20 leased from other companies.
Kenya Airways taking the same route with Air Peace
Recall that Air Peace had stated that it has no intention to cancel the order it made last year, despite backlash against the company.
Air Peace and the American aircraft manufacturer, had on September 13, 2018, signed an agreement for the delivery of 10 brand new B737 MAX 800 aircraft. And following safety concerns originating from the recent crash, a spokesman for the company, Chris Iwarah, said it is rather premature to start considering cancelling the orders.
Chairman support stand: Iwarah’s statement was supported by the Airline’s Chairman, Allen Onyema, who said Air Peace ordered for the embattled aircraft long before the technical issue arise because the plane was the toast of the global aviation industry, and it’s only normal for the company to align with such development.
The Boeing 737-Max 8 plane has been credited for fuel efficiency and has been one of Boeing’s best-selling jets. More than 370 aircraft was delivered since 2017, with about 5,000 more placed orders.