Kenya Airways is evaluating a switch to an-all jet-airliner fleet which could involve its Fokker 50s being replaced by Boeing 737s in the interim, before a longer-term decision is made on a new regional jet. The airline has asked Aircraft Leasing and Management (ALM) of the UK to remarket a package which includes its three Fokker 50s and a large spares inventory.

Kenya's managing director, Brian Davies, says that a firm decision has not been taken to dispose of the Fokkers, but the airline is examining the market. "We are considering an all-jet fleet for regional operations, but this will be governed by whether we receive significant interest, at the right price, for the Fokker 50s."

If this is the case, Davies says that the Fokker 50s would be replaced in the short term by the two leased Boeing 737-200s which otherwise would be returned to GPA with the arrival of the airline's two new Boeing 737-300s in March and May 1997. The 737-200s would be used for around a year or so, after which a long-term decision regarding the acquisition of a new type will be taken. "We are examining the options now-it would be too late once the 737-200s have gone," says Davies.

The Fokker 50s, which are between six and eight years old, are used primarily on domestic services from Nairobi to Mombasa, Kisumu and Malindi, as well as to Zanzibar and Entebbe, in Uganda. Davies says that the airline will need a smaller aircraft than the 737-300 in the longer term to replace the Fokkers, but whether this would be the 737-500 or a regional jet has not been decided.

Source: Flight International