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Kenya Airways gives Mangu High School 737-700 PLANE.

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Kenya Airways gives Mangu High School 737-700 PLANE.

Kenya Airways has graciously given a Boeing 737-700 to Mangu High School. The major goal of this donation is to support aviation studies at the school, with the long-term goal of providing trained staff for the aviation industry to the airline. Notably, Mangu High School, which will turn 100 next year, was one of the first educational institutions in the country to provide aviation courses. Many of its past students currently work for the airline in various capacities.

This is the first time Kenya Airways has donated an entire airplane to an institution as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative. Previously, in 2016, the airline gave one engine to the Technical University of Kenya for a similar instructional reason.

Kipchumba Murkomen, the Transport Cabinet Secretary, praised the gesture, calling it a testament to Kenya Airways’ commitment for the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC). He lauded the airline’s CSR programs for providing students with practical skills and technological knowledge that will help them compete.

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Murkomen stressed the significance of Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) in furthering educational and aviation reforms. He stated that the African aviation sector offers substantial prospects and jobs that remain unfilled at the handover ceremony held at hangar 1 at the airline’s headquarters in Embakasi.

According to a recent IATA report, Africa is expected to require 55,000 trained aviation workers over the next two decades, including 15,000 pilots, 17,000 technicians, and 23,000 cabin staff.

Murkomen asked how Kenya could capitalize on these chances to achieve supremacy in the continent’s aviation sector while also exporting people and expertise to global markets. He proposed that one approach to achieve this goal is to encourage the establishment of incubators for innovation and talent development.

Kenya Airways maintains the Fahari Innovation center, an active aviation center that supports innovative ideas and data-driven innovations, in addition to its flight and cargo operations. The airline also has an approved aviation school, the Pride Centre, which offers a variety of courses to prepare applicants for successful careers in the aviation industry.

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Kenya Airways CEO Allan Kilavuka emphasized the donated aircraft’s remarkable specs, which include a wingspan of 35.79 meters and a length of 33.63 meters. The plane has 16 business class seats and 100 economy seats. It was built in 2003 and has amassed over 56,861 flying hours and 20,966 flight cycles in its two-decade lifetime.

The aircraft was decommissioned from active duty in December 2021 and will now embark on a new path as a teaching tool for pupils at Mangu High School.

To aid in transporting the aircraft from the hangar to the school and providing the school with aircraft learning equipment such as flight simulators and aircraft maintenance gear, KCB Bank gave Sh5 million. Crown Paints has agreed to supply paint for repainting the plane, which will be registered as 5W MHC instead of 5W KQH.

Kilavuka reaffirmed Kenya Airways’ commitment to giving technical assistance to the school and confirmed continued conversations with institutions, specifically TUK and Kenyatta University (KU), to ensure that aviation curricula fit with industry demands. John Kuria, principal of Mangu High School, expressed gratitude for the donation, emphasizing its potential to inspire students and improve aviation technology education.

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Ronald Meru, chairman of the Mangu High School Alumni Association, highlighted four alumni who are now pilots and underscored the importance of this relationship in advancing aviation education. General Michael Gichangi, Kenya Airways board chairman and graduate of Mangu High School, recognized the school’s historical importance in the country’s aviation industry and saw this donation as a significant milestone that would reinforce the industry’s momentum.

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