Kenya Airways’ Most Used Aircraft

The bulk of Kenya Airways’ aircraft are 96-seat Embraer 190s, which has pushed the carrier’s seats to just 123 per flight in February-August 2022. That compares to 177 with Ethiopian Airlines, 169 with EgyptAir, and 153 with Royal Air Maroc.


Kenya Airways B787-8

The B787-8 is probably a suitable-sized widebody for Kenya Airways. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying.

Kenya Airways’ 36-strong fleet

The Kenya flag carrier has 36 aircraft, comprising 34 in passenger configuration and two for cargo. They have an average age of 13.7 years, according to ch-aviation.com. Some 29 aircraft are active, defined as operating at least one flight since February 1st and cross-referenced with activity using Flightradar24. Its fleet comprises:

  • Embraer 190s: 15, four inactive
  • B787-8s: nine, one inactive
  • B737-800s: eight, all active
  • B737-700s: two, inactive (one last used in March 2021, the other in October 2019)
  • B737-300Fs: two, both active

In the past 20 years, Kenya Airways has also operated A310-300s (withdrawn by 2002), Saab 340s (until 2008), B767-300ERs (until 2015), B777-200ERs (until 2015), B777-300ERs (until 2016) , Embraer 170s (until 2016), and B737-300 passenger machines (until 2017).


Kenya Airways Embraer

Kenya Airways has 30% of all flights involving Kenya in February-August 2022, based on those over 30 seats. It rises to 41% if its fully owned subsidiary Jambojet is included. Photo: Getty Images.

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Over six in ten flights are by the E190

According to Cirium data, Kenya Airways has almost 37,000 flights in total between February and August 2022, of which approximately 23,000 – or 62% – are by the Embraer 190.

The aircraft have a two-class configuration, with 12 in business with 38″ pitch and 84 in economy with 31″. The first aircraft delivered was 5Y-KYP in December 2010, followed by two in 2011, six in 2012, and four in 2013.

A further two aircraft (5Y-FFL and 5Y-FFM) arrived in 2019. They are (were?) leased to Congo Airways. These have a different configuration (nine in business and 88 in economy). According to Radarbox.com, 5Y-FFM was used to/from Nairobi until August 2021, while 5Y-FFL last flew on December 7th, 2021, from Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, to Nairobi.



Kenya Airways' flight development

This shows the development of Kenya Airways’ flights by and not by its Embraer 190s. It excludes flights by the carrier’s fully owned subsidiary, Jambojet. Source of data: Cirium.

Up to 2,540 miles (4,088km) by the E190

While Kenya Airways’ average route length by the regional jet is 546 miles (879km), there are some curious exceptions. The best of these is the long 2,540-mile (4,088km) link from Nairobi (NBO) to Cape Town (CPT). Depending on the day, these route via either Victoria Falls (VFA; Zimbabwe) or Livingstone (LVI; Zambia).


Kenya Airways Embraer 190 route network February to August 2022

Kenya Airways’ Embraer 190 network. Notice the number of one stops. Despite the network breadth, the short domestic sector from Nairobi (NBO) to Mombasa (MBA) has more flights than any other route. Image: GCMap.

Nearly long-haul regional jet flights

While NBO-VFA/LVI-CPT is one-stop and therefore unfair, it is close to 3,000 miles (4,828km) – the point considered long-haul. It has a block time of up to six hours and 25 minutes, leaving Kenya at 07:25 and arriving in South Africa at 13:35 local time.

But neither NBO-VFA/LVI nor VFA/LVI-CPT is Kenya Airways’ longest nonstop. That goes to NBO to Mauritius (MRU), some 1,922 miles (3,093km) apart. Typically operating twice-weekly, it has a block time of four hours and 20 minutes in both directions. Although the route is longer by distance than any in North America, several exceed it by block time.


Would you like to fly long regional jet flights? Let us know in the comments.


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