The Kenyan flag carrier’s fleet features an interesting mixture of twinjet designs.

Kenya Airways Embraer E190
Photo: Markus Mainka/Shutterstock

Kenya Airways recently reached 46 years of commercial flights, having commenced operations back in February 1977. The airline, which is the flag carrier of Kenya, is one of Africa’s most important in terms of long-haul connectivity, and it operates a small but diverse fleet. Let’s take a look at which aircraft it has at its disposal.

Boeing 787s serve as the airline’s flagships

According to, Kenya Airways’ current fleet consists of 32 aircraft, which have a collective average age of 13.5 years old. Of these, the youngest are its nine examples of the Boeing 787-8, whose mean figure in this regard is 8.5 years old. As the carrier’s only widebodies, they can be considered its flagships.

At the time of writing, seven of Kenya Airways’ nine short-fuselage Dreamliners were listed by ch-aviation as presently being active. Meanwhile, the other pair was undergoing maintenance at the national airline’s Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta International (NBO) hub. Historically speaking, Kenya Airways has flown two more 787-8s.

Kenya Airways aircraft taking off.

Photo: JetKat/Shutterstock

The airline has configured its Boeing 787-8s with a two-class configuration that has the capacity to accommodate a grand total of 234 passengers. Of these, 204 can be found in the economy class section, with nine seats per row (3-3-3) and a 32-inch pitch. Meanwhile, the 30-passenger business class cabin consists of five rows of six flatbeds (2-2-2) which offer a 75-inch seat pitch.

737s carry both passengers and cargo

As it happens, the 787 isn’t the only Boeing twinjet that Kenya Airways currently makes use of. Indeed, the Nairobi-headquartered SkyTeam carrier also flies two variants of the single-aisle 737 family, the most numerous being the passenger-carrying 737-800. There are eight of these aircraft in Kenya Airways’ fleet.

Their average age comes to 10.4 years old, and, historically speaking, Kenya Airways has flown three more of these narrowbodies. All eight are currently listed as active and seat 145 passengers across two classes. This figure comprises 129 economy seats with a 32-inch pitch and 16 business class recliners. These spacious seats are laid out four abreast, and offer an impressive 47 inches of pitch.

Kenya Airways Boeing 737 parked at an airfield.
Photo: Pierre-Yves Babelon/Shutterstock

In addition to its eight passenger-carrying Boing 737-800s, Kenya Airways also flies two cargo-carrying 737-300SF aircraft. Clocking in at 24.5 years old on average, these aircraft drag the fleet’s mean age up considerably. Both initially flew passengers for Kenya Airways (starting in the late-1990s) before being converted to instead serve the Kenyan flag carrier’s cargo division in 2013.

Regional jets also play an essential role

Completing our look at Kenya Airways’ current fleet, we can see that its smallest aircraft also happen to be its most numerous. Indeed, the Embraer E190 accounts for more than 40% of the carrier’s current fleet, with 13 examples present at an average age of 10.6 years old. Of these, 10 are active, two are in maintenance, and the final example is presently in storage at the airline’s Nairobi hub.

Historically speaking, Kenya Airways has operated two more Embraer E190s, as well as two E170s, three E170LRs, and two E190 LRs. The planes that constitute its current regional fleet of Embraer E190 aircraft each seat 96 passengers, with this figure split between 84 economy class seats and 12 in business class.


  • Kenya Airways Aircraft at airport
    Photo: Getty Images

    Kenya Airways

    IATA/ICAO Code:

    Airline Type:
    Full Service Carrier

    Jomo Kenyatta International Airport

    Year Founded:


    Allan Kilavuka



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