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Kenya’s first 787 Dreamliner arrives today

Boeing and Kenya Airways are celebrating the delivery of the carrier’s first 787 Dreamliner. The aircraft departed Paine Field in Everett on Friday 4 April 2014 for a 7,800 nautical mile (14,456 km) nonstop flight to the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

Arrival in Nairobi will be today, Saturday 5 April, between 11am and 12 noon.

“The delivery of our first ever 787 Dreamliner not only opens a new chapter for our airline, but also for Kenya,” said Dr. Titus Naikuni, CEO, Kenya Airways. “The 787 will enable Kenya Airways to explore new markets, improve its economic performance, provide passengers with revolutionary comfort while continuing to contribute towards the sustainable development of Africa.”

This delivery is the first of nine 787 Dreamliners set to join the Kenya Airways fleet. The 787s, along with additional 777-300ER (Extended Range) airplanes, forms part of Kenya Airways’ 10-year strategic plan called “Project Mawingu.” The plan is focused on increasing the airline’s fleet size from 44 airplanes to 107 by 2021 and destinations from the current 62 to 115.

“The 787 provides carriers with the flexibility to expand their networks and reduce operating costs while offering passengers an unsurpassed in-flight experience,” said Van Rex Gallard, vice president of sales for Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

Kenya Airways’ first 787 is scheduled to begin flying regionally within Africa in the coming weeks before beginning long-haul service to Paris in early June.

Delivery of Kenya Airways 787s was to begin in 2010 but delivery was delayed as Boeing tackled development problems with its latest product. To date, more than 130 Dreamliners have been delivered to 17 operators worldwide.

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