Kenya Airways has continued its cost-cutting measures with the sale-and-leaseback of two Boeing 737-700s.

The remarketing division of Air Partner, the UK-based aviation services group, said March 10 it had arranged the sale of the aircraft to an undisclosed lessor. The two aircraft had then been leased back to Kenya Airways for continued operation. They were originally delivered new to Kenya Airways in 2002 and 2003 and are powered by CFM56-7B26 engines.

The East African flag carrier has incurred heavy losses in recent years and has substantially slimmed down its fleet as it seeks to return to profitability.

Air Partner was appointed as Kenya Airways’ exclusive aircraft remarketing agent in August 2015. It has also been responsible for the sale of three 777-200ERs to US-based charter operator Omni Air International. The airline has also leased three 777-300ERs to Turkish Airlines and two Boeing 787-8s to Oman Air.  

Air Partner is continuing to remarket Kenya Airways’ one remaining 777-200ER, and a new GE90-115BL engine.

Kenya Airways CEO and MD Mbuvi Ngunze said this milestone deal is “in line with our ongoing turnaround plan. Air Partner has found a suitable buyer for the two aircraft, from whom the airline will lease them for a period of 18 months to ensure seamless operations.”

The two 737-700s may be scrapped following their final stint in Kenya, Air Partner head-remarketing and ACMI Tony Whitty said. “They were built in 2002, so by the time they come back [to the lessor] they will be 17 years old.” Airliners as young as 10 years old have been parted out in recent years, he said.

Alan Dron alandron@adepteditorial.com