The Day of the Dreamliner! Kenya Welcomes the B787 Dreamliner

The 787 Dreamliner will be landing at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in the next 30 minutes and many friends have already left for the Airport to catch a glimpse of the long awaited dream(Dreamliner) turned nightmare. I have unfortunately missed the historic event due to punishing work commitment but I will still get a chance to catch a glimpse later in the day.

I have learnt from Wolfgang's blog, lucky him(he will be in the B787 Dreamliner en route to Mombasa)  that the B787 will be captained by a Kenyan Pilot and many in the aviation circles are very excited about the prospect. Even the Kenyan President, Mwai Kibaki will be at the Airport to receive the new bird which is expected to position Kenya Airways, along with Ethiopian Airlines as two of Africa's giant airlines as they seek to consolidate their positions on the African Continent.  Both airlines have put in place massive expansion plans in the coming years and the delay in the delivery of the Dreamliner has been sort of an anticlimax for both carriers.

Kenya Airways has 9 B787 aircraft on order and further 4 options. A year ago, there was a famous rumour that Kenya Airways had decided to ditch its B787 plans and go head with the "French Mistress", the Airbus  but these rumours proved unfounded and it seems the Pride of Africa and many aviation enthusiasts in the region will be waiting patiently for their Dreamliner.

Boeing is currently undertaking a world tour to showcase the Dreamliner to its global clients and constituencies including Kenya Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, Qatar Airways and many more, a tour that is expected to last 6 months. According to seasoned traveler and travel writer Wolfgang Thome, this is "also a goodwill tour to make up for the delays and in the process bag a few dozen more orders, as was already announced from Etihad, one of the Gulfs leading carriers, where a deal for 10 more of the Dreamliners was inked two days ago, raising the entire order to now 41 aircraft."

A demonstration flight has been arranged for by Kenya Airways for invited VIPs and a select group of media invitees, regularly reporting about Kenya Airways{but excluding Flight Africa Blog :)}. Watch out as we bring you more coverage on this important event in the history of African aviation.

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