Kenya’s national airline has partnered with leading Aircraft maintenance company, Avianor, to repurpose its aircraft cabins for cargo operation. The repurposed aircraft are referred to as ‘Preighters’.
The airline said it is the first-ever repurpose of that kind on the Boeing 787, making it a worldwide breakthrough. Kenya Airways began repurposing its aircraft in December last year and completed the process in January 2021.
Like most airlines around the world, Kenya Airways decided to redesign its airplanes after witnessing a big increase in demand for cargo freight services and a corresponding drop in demand for passenger flights.
Increased e-commerce business and the need to deliver essential goods and medical equipment led to the high demand for freight services.
“We are excited to be part of the first-ever certified cargo conversion of this type on the Boeing 787 aircraft. It demonstrates our agility, innovation and quick thinking as well as increases our cargo capability and capacity to keep essential goods moving across the globe,” said Allan Kilavuka CEO Kenya Airways.
Kenya Airways has already received approval to operate the repurposed aircraft from the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCCA) and the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA). The airline will soon start flying the redesigned planes to meet the high demand for cargo services.
Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) Director General, Captain Gilbert Kibe, praised Kenya Airways for ‘taking a bold innovative step to address the need for additional capacity for cargo and facilitating trade.’