KENYA Airways has selected the GEnx-1B engine to power its nine firm Boeing 787 Dreamliners with an option for four additional aircraft.
Speaking at a press briefing in Nairobi, Kenya Airways Group managing director and chief executive Dr. Titus Naikuni said the airline had settled on the GEnx-1B engine as GE had designed the engines to provide a base thrust of 70,000 lbs. to power the state-of-the-art Dreamliner aircraft for which the airline has placed nine firm orders with an option to buy four more.
“The 787 is expected to achieve between 15-17 per cent fuel efficiency over the 767 with this particular engine type. This will enable the 787 to fly further with more passengers and cargo than the 767. It is also designed to deliver significant reduction in fuel burn and noise,” explained Dr Naikuni. “In addition, the engines are bigger, quieter and more efficient than the Boeing 767 engines, have reduced fuel burn and longer periods on the wing between overhauls. This means the Dreamliner will come with lower maintenance costs and therefore ability to be flying longer,” noted Dr. Naikuni.
“GE is committed to partnering with African companies to usher in a new dawn of Africa’s growth and increased regional and global integration. Our partnership with Kenya Airways is a case in point that demonstrates how GE works in Africa to increase Africa’s competitiveness with the rest of the world,” said Jay Ireland, president and CEO for GE Africa.
“Fuel accounts for about 40 per cent of the airline’s direct costs. The Boeing 787 has been marketed as being as much as 20 per cent more fuel efficient. With rising fuel prices, fuel efficiency was considered as a critical aspect of the selection criteria,” added Dr. Naikuni.
Kenya Airways remains the fastest growing airline in Africa and is pursuing a network expansion strategy to link all African countries with the world, making it the airline of choice for travellers in the continent.