Header background image

Guided History Of Kenya Airways

Explore Today's Deals

Logo invertediFly.com

Kenya Airways History

Kenya Airways, with the IATA code KQ, is the flag carrier airline of Kenya. Established in 1977, the airline has grown to become one of the leading carriers in Africa, connecting Kenya to various destinations around the world.

The history of Kenya Airways dates back to its formation as a result of the dissolution of East African Airways. On January 22, 1977, the Kenyan government took over the assets and operations of East African Airways and established Kenya Airways as the national airline of Kenya.

Initially, Kenya Airways operated with a fleet of two Boeing 707 aircraft and served a few domestic and regional destinations. However, with a vision to become the pride of Africa, the airline embarked on an ambitious expansion plan.

More Airline Insights & Tips

Here are a few of helpful resources & tips that can further enhance your knowledge of Kenya Airways airlines and how to best be prepared for your trip:

  • Delays are an unfortunate fact of the life of an air traveler. Arm yourself against surprises by knowing the flight status of your KQ Kenya Airways flight before heading to the airport, as this could save you a lot of time, or even your trip to the airport if your flight is canceled.
  • Info can be found here on Kenya Airways’s company structure, headquarters, etc.
  • See which partnerships and alliances Kenya Airways has here. This is useful if you want to build up your frequent flyer points on partner airlines.
  • Want to know which plane types are in service? Check out KQ’s fleet list here.
  • When considering a flight booking on Kenya Airways, be aware that third-party travel sites might require you to use their customer service instead of Kenya Airways's, which may be less than ideal in certain situations.

Beyond the history presented here for Kenya Airways, if you’re wanting more aviation history, read about the history of commercial flight here, or the history of the airline industry here.

In the 1980s, Kenya Airways expanded its network to include international destinations such as London, Frankfurt, and Rome. The airline also acquired new aircraft, including Boeing 737s and McDonnell Douglas DC-9s, to support its growing operations.

Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, Kenya Airways continued to expand its route network and modernize its fleet. The airline introduced new destinations in Europe, Asia, and the Americas, making it a truly global carrier. Kenya Airways also became the first African airline to join the prestigious SkyTeam alliance, further enhancing its global reach.

Over the years, Kenya Airways has received numerous accolades for its service and operational excellence. The airline has been recognized as Africa's Leading Airline by the World Travel Awards multiple times and has consistently maintained a high level of customer satisfaction.

Today, Kenya Airways operates a modern fleet of Boeing and Embraer aircraft, serving over 50 destinations worldwide. The airline continues to play a vital role in connecting Kenya to the rest of the world, promoting tourism, trade, and economic growth.

For more information about this airline, check out our comprehensive Kenya Airways Guide.

Find more help here for your journey through the airport