Mangu School Receives a Boeing 737-700 Courtesy of Kenya Airways
Mangu School Receives a Boeing 737-700 Courtesy of Kenya Airways. Kenya Airways has generously donated one of its Boeing 737-700 aircraft to Mangu High School. The primary purpose of this donation is to support aviation studies at the school with the long-term goal of supplying the airline with qualified personnel for the aviation sector. In particular, Mangu High School, which will celebrate its centenary next year, was one of the first educational institutions in the country to introduce aviation studies. Many of her former students now hold various positions in the airline industry.
This contribution marks the first time that Kenya Airways has provided a complete aircraft to an institution through its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme. In 2016, the airline had previously donated an engine to the Technical University of Kenya for a similar educational purpose.
Transport Cabinet Secretary, Kipchumba Murkomen lauded the act of generosity, characterizing it as evidence of Kenya Airways’ support for the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC). He appreciated the airline’s CSR initiatives that equip students with practical skills and technological knowledge that will give them a competitive edge.
Murkomen emphasized the importance of Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) in promoting education and aviation reforms. Speaking during the handover ceremony held at Hangar 1 at the airline’s headquarters in Embakasi, he said the African aviation sector offers significant opportunities and vacancies that remain unfilled.
According to a recent report by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Africa is projected to require 55,000 skilled aviation professionals over the next two decades, including 15,000 pilots, 17,000 technicians and 23,000 cabin crew.
Murkomen questioned how Kenya could capitalize on these opportunities to gain dominance in the aviation sector on the continent while exporting talent and skills to global markets. He indicated that one of the ways to achieve this goal is to support the creation of incubators for innovation and talent development.
In addition to its flight and cargo operations, Kenya Airways operates the Fahari Innovation Hub, an active aviation hub that fosters new ideas and data-driven innovation. The airline also operates an approved flight school known as the Pride Centre, which offers a range of courses to prepare candidates for a successful career in the aviation sector.
Kenya Airways CEO Allan Kilavuka highlighted the impressive specifications of the donated aircraft which include a wingspan of 35.79 meters and a length of 33.63 meters. The plane has 16 seats in business class and 100 seats in economy class. It was manufactured in 2003 and has accumulated over 56,861 flight hours and 20,966 flight cycles during its two decade long career.
The aircraft was retired from active service in December 2021 and will now embark on a new journey as an educational tool for Mangu High School students.
To support the transition, KCB Bank donated Sh5 million to help move the aircraft from the hangar to the school and equip the school with aircraft training equipment such as flight simulators and aircraft maintenance tools. Crown Paints has committed to providing paint for the repaint of the aircraft, which will be registered as 5W MHC, replacing the former 5W KQH registration.
Kilavuka reiterated Kenya Airways’ commitment to provide technical support to the school and announced ongoing discussions with universities, particularly TUK and Kenyatta University (KU), to ensure that the aviation curriculum is in line with industry requirements. The principal of Mangu High School, John Kuria, expressed his gratitude for the donation and highlighted its potential to inspire students and enhance education in aerospace technology.
Mangu High School Alumni Association President Ronald Meru introduced the four graduates who are now pilots and highlighted the importance of the partnership in improving aviation studies. General Michael Gichangi, chairman of Kenya Airways and an alumnus of Mangu High School, acknowledged the school’s historic role in the country’s aviation industry and saw the donation as a significant milestone that would boost the industry’s dynamism.