By Margaret Kalekye
Kenya Airways and Turkish Airlines have signed an agreement for delivery of the first B777-300ER aircraft to be subleased to the European carrier.
The B777-300ER has now been deregistered in Kenya and subsequently re-registered in Turkey.
The sublease is part of the KQ’s Operation Pride strategy as it seeks to rationalise its excess capacity through sub-leases and outright sales.
This year alone, KQ has signed a sale agreement with Omni Air International (Omni) for two B777-200ERs and a sublease agreement with Oman Air for two B787-8s.
Both B777-200ERs have since been delivered to Omni and the first of the two 787-8s was delivered to Oman Air at the beginning of April 2016.
Kenya Airways CEO Mbuvi Ngunze said, “It has been a long journey and we are happy to announce our plans are now coming to fruition. Subleasing and selling of aircraft will improve our fleet costs by over $7 million a month and is part of our strategy to turn Kenya Airways into profitability in the next 18 to 24 months”.
The airline plans to continue to utilize its B787, B737 and E190 fleets across its network in a more efficient manner and increasing utilization.
The national carrier made headlines last year after posting a record net loss of Sh25 billion. The poor financial position was blamed on bad investment decisions.
It has also announced plans to send home 600 employees as part of its restructuring bid starting this month.