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MRO supply chain problems are causing flight disruptions at Kenya Airways

Kenya Airways is struggling to return aircraft undergoing scheduled maintenance back to service as a result of “global challenges with the supply of some aircraft components”.

This is causing some flight disruptions, prompting the airline’s chief executive officer Allan Kilavuka to issue a statement explaining the situation to customers.

The supply chain challenges have “constrained our aircraft availability because we do not have extra aircraft capacity to help alleviate the delays”, said Kilavuka. He noted that the challenges “are global and affect not only but all airlines globally”.

Kenya Airways operates a fleet of Boeing and Embraer aircraft. Kilavuka’s statement read: “The challenges have been occasioned by the Ukraine war crisis which has significantly crippled the Russian supply chain crucial to global aviation. The aviation supply chain is highly dependent on raw materials from many countries including Russia. For example, 100 per cent titanium used on Embraer and 35 per cent titanium used on Boeing are sourced from Russia. With a limited inventory, airlines have had to look worldwide to find the parts they need.

“Additionally, in Europe and North America, where most airlines get their components, manufacturers are looking to ramp up production of aircraft components to overcome delivery delays. However, that is proving to be difficult because of a shortage of qualified workers. This has exacerbated the delay in supply chains and compromised the availability of components for airlines.”

Kilavuka assured customers that the airline was “doing everything possible” within its control to reduce the impact of the supply chain delays on operations. “We are also proactively anticipating these delays and communicating them as soon as possible,” he said. “We are committed, and are working with our partners, to find a solution that minimises the disruptions and the inconvenience to our customers. To that end, we are currently finalising a component support programme that will help fast track the securing of components.

“We are also actively engaging our OEM partners to work on mitigation measures which should ensure continuity of our network and operations. In the event that supply chain challenges persist, we may have changes in our flight schedules with reductions in some frequencies. We sincerely apologise to our guests for the inconvenience but assure them of our commitment to provide the highest level of service during this time.”

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