Kenya Airways (KQ) is considering acquiring the Bombardier CSeries or the Embraer’s E2 jet for a short-haul order of 15 to 20 aeroplanes according to the airline’s chief executive officer Sebastian Mikosz.
Mikosz said Latvia’s Air Baltic’s order of up to 60 CS300 jets has inspired him. He also added that one of the issues Africa is facing is the unavailability of maintenance services for the CSeries. Nevertheless, this could change since EgyptAir has placed an order while Ethiopian Airways is studying the jet.
“I don’t care if they are able to fly to London. My question is do I have maintenance in Bangui, Juba, Abidjan? But the more African carriers are looking at it, it means the maintenance base will be growing,” he said adding that the performance of the CSeries needs to be studied.
The Bombardier CSeries
The Bombardier CSeries family comprises of narrow-body, comfortable, medium-range, and twin-engine jets designed by Canadian Bombardier Aerospace. These jets, which feature larger windows, larger overhead compartments, wider seats, less passenger capacity, and a single aisle cabin, were designed for airlines that want to offer their customers increased comfort.
However, orders for these jets are still low mainly because airlines prefer larger planes that can hold more passengers thereby increasing revenues and reducing fares.
Bombardier has partnered with Airbus in the CSeries program with the latter holding the majority stake of 50.01 per cent. Bombardier holds 31 per cent and Investissement Québec holds 19 per cent.