Nairobi, January 25, 2013 – National carrier Kenya Airways is now 36. The airline launched its first flight in February 1977 following breakup of the East African Community and disbanding of East African Airways.
With only six aircraft when it was launched by the Kenyan government - four inherited from the collapsed regional airline and two leased ones - the airline has since been privatized, besides growing its fleet and route network significantly. Today, Kenya Airways flies to over 50 destinations across the world and operates a fleet of 41 aircraft.
Dr Titus Naikuni shares a light moment during the celebration of KQ's 36th anniversary.Looking on is COO Mbuvi Ngunze and Marketing Director Chris Diaz
“Our 36th anniversary is an opportunity for us to celebrate the achievements that we have had so far, learn from our experiences, and re-energize for the future,” said Dr Titus Naikuni, the Kenya Airways Chief Executive Officer. For its 36th anniversary, the airline has lined up a series of activities and events including rewarding loyal customers with a state of the art Range Rover Sport among other prizes. The anniversary coincides with Kenya marking 50 years of independence.
The Range Rover Sport that will be won by one of our customers in the grand draw to be held in April
During its 36 years of existence, Kenya Airways has achieved several key milestones that include striking a strategic partnership with KLM in 1995, issuing an Initial Public Offering in 1996 and the Rights Issue in 2012. This has seen the airline create jobs and contribute towards developing the Kenyan economy. Today, Kenya Airways expansion has seen the airline not only continue to play an integral role in connecting many African countries to the world, but the carrier’s growth is seen as a symbol of Africa’s emergence as an economic force on world stage. This has seen it scoop several major global travel industry awards and accolades over the years.
In terms of passenger safety, Kenya Airways has consistently maintained high standards during the course of its history, achieving the IATA (International Air Transport Association) Operational Safety Audit certification in 2005, making it the first airline in sub-Saharan Africa to attain the quality standards.
The 36th anniversary comes as the airline implements its 10-year growth plan, Project Mawingu that aims at operating a fleet of 119 aircraft from 35, besides increasing its destinations from 58 to 115 routes by the end of 2021.
Kenya Airways is also part of the Sky Team, a global network of 19 international carriers, having joined in 2007. Through the network, the airlines cooperate in providing service, easing connections amongst them, thus making flights smoother and more simplified through seamless travel by passengers. Through Sky Team and its seamless connections, KQ is able to offer its passengers service from 1000 airports in 187 countries.
Other value-add services introduced by the airline in recent days include the introduction of the Msafiri Gold Card that will see cardholders accumulate frequent flyer points for any purchases made at Visa points of sale worldwide.
And to cement its position in the East African region, the airline owns 34% stake in Tanzania’s Precision Air a regional carrier flying to key destinations in Southern Africa.
It is a mix of these factors that have made the airline a force in the African aviation space, providing unmatched service and staying true to the tagline ‘The Pride of Africa’ going forward.
About Kenya Airways
Kenya Airways, a member of the Sky Team Alliance, is a leading African airline flying to over 59 destinations worldwide, 40 of which are in Africa and carries over three million passengers annually. It continues to modernize its fleet with its 41 aircraft fleet being one of the most modern in Africa. The on-board service is renowned and the lie-flat business class seat on the wide-body aircraft is consistently voted among the world’s top 10. Most recently it has scooped top awards at the Africa Investor (Ai) Tourism Investor Awards and was declared the Business Airline of the Year in Africa. Kenya Airways takes pride for being in the fore front of connecting Africa to the world and the World to Africa through its hub Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.