Kenya Airways is planning to sell seven of its aircraft and also a GE engine to deal with the losses suffered due to the cancellation of numerous flights.
For the sale, Kenya Airways has hired UK-based Air Partner. The aviation services group operating globally will help the struggling Kenyan airline sell six of its B787-8 Dreamliner planes, one B777-300 and a spare General Electric (GE) engine.
However, despite the sale, Kenya Airways will lease back the aircraft as it does not want to cut short on the routes it operates in.
As of 2018, the Kenya Airline had a fleet of 41 planes which includes Bombardier and Embraer on its short and medium-haul. The airline uses Boeing for long-haul flights. In 2015, the airline had 52 flights in its fleet.
The sale comes eight years after Kenya Airways announced its decision to buy nine Dreamliners back in 2011.
According to reports, the airline canceled around 91 flights in the first two weeks of August due to pilot shortages.
In a letter to the Kenya Airline Pilots Association (KALPA), the airline said, “The market share we have fought hard to win shall be eroded and winning this back will be a much harder task due to diminished customer confidence.”
he airline, which is currently 48.9 percent owned by the state and 7.8 percent by Air France-KLM, stressed it will be forced to cancel more flights in the coming weeks due to the shortages.
Kenya Airways recently announced that it will no longer continue to fly to Libreville in Gabon and Cotonou in Benin. The airline sees these routes as unproductive and they reportedly only add to the company’s losses. The decision will be effective from October 14, 2019.
Earlier in July, lawmakers in Kenya voted in favour to nationalise the airline.