Kenya Airways’ new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft has been named ‘Maasai Mara’, after the national reserve in Kenya that is one of the world’s most popular tourist attractions.
The aircraft, which is the largest in its fleet, with capacity to carry 400 passengers and 20 metric tonnes of cargo, was named in early November at a ceremony presided over by Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta. The Boeing 777-300ER is the first aircraft in the fleet to be named.
Kenya Airways’ Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Titus Naikuni said that the aircraft had been named ‘Maasai Mara’ to resonate with the crucial tourism sector that plays a key role in the economies of African countries.
“Through this, we are supporting the development of tourism, which is in line with our core purpose of contributing towards sustainable development in Africa,” Dr Naikuni added.
After the naming ceremony, guests were treated to a test flight on the new Boeing 777-300ER. The flight flew over the vast Maasai Mara National Reserve as well as Kilimanjaro National Park in neighbouring Tanzania.
“The Boeing 777-300ER is an exceptional aircraft. With its addition to our fleet we have created a product that is not only in line with our company’s commitment to innovation, technology and efficiency, but that also offers qualities and features that are sure to maximise our passengers’ in-flight experience. It is also a boost to our long-haul capability and will enable us to open new continental routes,” Dr Naikuni said after the flight.
Some of the most exciting features of the new plane include a Premier World section featuring full flatbed seats with leather foot-rests, a laptop storage area and privacy dividers on the armrests. Other features are Wi-Fi connectivity, a 15.4-inch touch screen monitor for each seat, high-quality in-flight entertainment, power plugs and USB ports. The plane also has more legroom for economy class, adjustable headrests, a USB port for each seat and strategically placed power sockets throughout the cabin.
‘Maasai Mara’, the newly named aircraft, commences service in late November, operating direct flights to Guangzhou in China.