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Kenya Airways Fleet Details and History

In this post, we will analyze the current Kenya Airways fleet and its position relative to other airlines. In 2024, Kenya boasts 64 operational airlines with a total of 177 registered aircraft, notably led by the national carrier, Kenya Airways.

Established on January 22, 1977, Kenya Airways commenced operations shortly after its separation from East Africa Airlines. The airline’s subsidiaries include Jambojet, focusing primarily on domestic and regional travel, while Flamingo Airlines, formerly part of its portfolio, is currently bygone, leaving Jambojet as the sole subsidiary in operation.

Kenya Airways Fleet 2024

KQ 737-800 Cargo

KQ in 2024 boasts 33 crafts in fleet with 29 operational and 4 parked.

Historically, Kenya Airways has had a total of 100 different crafts registered to it at some point, however, two have crashed, and the rest either retired or sold

RegistrationAircraft TypeConfigDeliveredAge
5Y-KYPEmbraer ERJ-190C12Y84Dec 201013.4 Years
5Y-KYQEmbraer ERJ-190C12Y84May 201112.9 Years
5Y-KYSEmbraer ERJ-190C12Y84Sep 201112.5 Years
5Y-KYTEmbraer ERJ-190C12Y84May 201211.9 Years
5Y-FFJEmbraer ERJ-190C12Y84Aug 201310.6 Years
5Y-FFGEmbraer ERJ-190C12Y84Feb 201311.2 Years
5Y-FFEEmbraer ERJ-190C12Y84Dec 201211.4 Years
5Y-FFDEmbraer ERJ-190C12Y84Nov 201211.4 Years
5Y-FFCEmbraer ERJ-190C12Y84Oct 201211.5 Years
5Y-FFBEmbraer ERJ-190C12Y84Sep 201211.6 Years
5Y-FFAEmbraer ERJ-190C12Y84Aug 201211.7 Years
5Y-KZGBoeing 787-8 DreamlinerC30Y204Apr 20159 Years
5Y-KZABoeing 787-8 DreamlinerC30Y204Mar 201410.1 Years
5Y-KZCBoeing 787-8 DreamlinerC30Y204Jul 20149.7 Years
5Y-KZDBoeing 787-8 DreamlinerC30Y204Aug 20149.7 Years
5Y-KZEBoeing 787-8 DreamlinerC30Y204Sep 20149.6 Years
5Y-KZFBoeing 787-8 DreamlinerC30Y204Oct 20149.6 Years
5Y-KZBBoeing 787-8 DreamlinerC30Y204Jun 20149.8 Years
5Y-KZJBoeing 787-8 DreamlinerC30Y204Jun 20198.8 Years
5Y-KZHBoeing 787-8 DreamlinerC30Y204Oct 20188.8 Years
5Y-CYEBoeing 737-800C16Y129Nov 20158.4 Years
5Y-CYCBoeing 737-800C16Y129Jan 20159.2 Years
5Y-CYBBoeing 737-800C16Y129Nov 20149.4 Years
5Y-CYABoeing 737-800C16Y129Oct 20149.5 Years
5Y-KCABoeing 737-800(F)Cargo21 Years
Kenya Airways Operational Fleet 2024

KQ Plane Acquisition History

KQ 737-7U8 SkyTeam

To understand Kenya Airways’ fleet in 2024, it’s critical to trace back its plane acquisition history. Established in 1977, Kenya Airways, the flag carrier of Kenya, began its operations with a modest fleet primarily consisting of several aircrafts

RegistrationAircraft Make and ModelDelivery Year to KQ
TF-VLCBoeing 7201977
EI-ASIBoeing 747-1001979
5Y-BBXBoeing 7201978
PH-BUBBoeing 747-2001982
PH-BUABoeing 747-2001983
D-AICMAirbus A310-2001985
5Y-BELAirbus A310-3001986
5Y-BENAirbus A310-3001986
5Y-BFTAirbus A310-3001989
5Y-BGIBoeing 757-2001989
SE-DLGBoeing 737-3001991
5Y-BHVBoeing 737-2001991
5Y-BHWBoeing 737-2001991
5Y-KQLAirbus A310-3001999
5Y-KQMAirbus A310-3002000
5Y-KQKBoeing 737-2001998
5Y-KQJBoeing 737-2001998
5Y-KQNBoeing 737-200C2003
5Y-KQEBoeing 737-7002001
5Y-KQFBoeing 737-7002002
5Y-KQGBoeing 737-7002002
5Y-KQHBoeing 737-7002003
5Y-RABBoeing 737-3002002
5Y-KQWBoeing 767-3002002
5Y-KQABoeing 737-3002006
5Y-KYCBoeing 737-8002006
5Y-KYBBoeing 737-8002006
5Y-KYABoeing 737-8002006
5Y-KQQBoeing 767-3002006
5Y-KQPBoeing 767-3002005
5Y-KQUBoeing 777-2002004
5Y-KQTBoeing 777-2002005
5Y-KQXBoeing 767-3002001
5Y-KQYBoeing 767-3002001
5Y-KQZBoeing 767-3002001
A table of KQ Acquired Crafts Over the Years

Average Fleet Age

Old KQ Douglas DC-8 ; 2 June 1991 in Paris

The fleet of Kenya Airways has a range of ages, with the oldest aircraft in operation being 26 years old, while the youngest is 8 years old. The majority of the fleet falls within the 9 to 15-year-old bracket. Historically, the average age of Kenya Airways’ fleet has been around 12 years.

In comparison to the global average fleet age for airlines in 2023, which typically falls between 10 and 12 years, Kenya Airways sits towards the higher end of this spectrum. Notably, it trails behind Ethiopian Airlines, which boasts an impressive average fleet age of 8.1 years.

The relatively older aircraft in Kenya Airways’ fleet are associated with lower efficiency and offer diminished passenger comfort when compared to newer counterparts. This highlights the importance of fleet modernization and the potential benefits of introducing newer, more advanced aircraft models into the airline’s operations.

Why is the Majority of the KQ Crafts from Boeing?

KQ Boeing 777-200; 2014 at LHR, UK

The majority of Kenya Airways’ fleet comprises Boeing aircraft and a small number of Embraers, a trend that can be traced back to the airline’s early days.

Despite having owned various aircraft from different manufacturers over the years, including Airbus, Fokker, Saab AB, McDonnell Douglas, and Embraer, the current fleet predominantly consists of Boeing and Embraer models.

This preference for Boeing aircraft can be attributed to several factors. Firstly, Kenya Airways has nurtured a longstanding relationship with Boeing since its inception. The reliability, performance, and familiarity associated with Boeing planes have solidified their place within the airline’s operations.

Kenya Airways had a fallout with Airbus following the Flight 431 crash in the year 2000 that resulted to blame game and pointing fingers between KQ and Airbus, that eventually resulted to retirement of all Airbus A310s remaining.

Additionally, standardizing the fleet around Boeing models offers numerous advantages. It streamlines maintenance, training, and operational procedures, leading to cost efficiencies and enhanced reliability. By maintaining consistency in the fleet, Kenya Airways can optimize its resources and ensure seamless operations across its network.


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