Kenya Airways’ partnership with Lufthansa Technik, initiated in August to address among other things, spare parts delays, appears to have fallen short of its intended goals.

The collaboration aimed to facilitate timely spare parts acquisition and aircraft maintenance, thereby mitigating costly operational disruptions caused by delays.

However, the carrier recently reported setbacks in spare parts delivery, leading to disruptions in its scheduled services.

The partnership, forged to grant Kenya Airways access to a global parts pool for the Dreamliner fleet, was anticipated to significantly enhance spare parts availability.

Despite these expectations, CEO Allan Kilavuka acknowledged the recent challenges but highlighted the partnership’s crucial role in alleviating shortages over the past week.

“The Lufthansa Technik is a very successful CSP and that is why we were able to release the 3 787 AOG (Aircraft on Ground), extra delay in availing and shipping of spare parts, we are still able to release the aircraft with some disruption for a limited time,” Mr Kilavuka told Business Day Africa.

During the signing of the agreement, Kenya Airways expressed optimism about the deal’s potential to address the shortage of spare parts for its Boeing fleet, preventing costly delays that resulted in the grounding of some aircraft earlier this year.

The shortage was attributed to the Ukraine war crisis, which disrupted the Russian supply chain vital to the global aviation industry.

Kenya Airways, operating nine Boeing 787 aircraft primarily for long-haul routes, cited the dependence on Russian titanium, a key raw material for aviation maintenance.

The ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, which began in February of the previous year, severely impacted the aviation sector’s supply chain.

Despite these challenges, the new contract with Lufthansa Technik coincided with increased passenger demand, prompting Kenya Airways to expand its flight frequencies globally.

The airline on Tuesday announced a partial easing of disruption, with the release of a previously grounded Boeing 787.

“The challenges of delayed spare parts delivery have eased because many of the necessary components have been delivered, enabling us to return to service the last Boeing 787 Dreamliner, whose release had been delayed. This is a significant step towards restoring operational efficiency and ensuring an uninterrupted travel experience for all our passengers,” said the carrier.