Kenya Airways has gotten a go-ahead from it;s lessors to convert two of its Dreamliner planes into cargo aircrafts.
The national carrier plans to convert the two of the high capacity aircrafts into freighters to cash in from the existing size for cargo in the wake of reduced demand for passenger flying.
KQ’s Chief Executive Officer Allan Kilavuka said the two planes will be converted before the end of the year.
“So far, two lessors have indicated a no objection to the conversion of the B787 Dreamliner aircraft to freighters for a two year period.
“These two aircraft should be converted by the end of the year,” Kilavuka said.
The airline sought permission from the lessors to convert their aircraft into freighters in a move aimed at covering up the low passenger demand since the resumption of flights after a worldwide grounding of the aircrafts due to covid-19 pandemic.
KQ boss also added that they are still engaging other lessors on the restructuring of their contracts.
Kivaluka said they opened talks with its lessors for early return of a number of aircrafts as the loss making carrier seeks cut maintenance and operational costs after Covid-19 ravaged the business.
The move will have direct impact to the company as it will cut on paying of lease charges.
Kenya Airways has a fleet of about 38 aircrafts including nine Dreamliners which are mainly used for passenger services.
The airline had converted some of its Boeing 787 aircraft into freighters during the lockdown but they did not remove seats meaning they could only carry 50% of goods.
KQ only has two freighters which cannot be used for long range such as connecting Africa to Europe since they can only cover minimal distance.