Kenya Airways is nearing the end of its lengthy international design pitch process and is understood to have appointed UK consultancy Honour Aviation.
At the beginning of the year, Kenya Airways kicked off a pitch to redesign its aircraft interiors, airport lounges and staff uniforms. However, the process was postponed in May when a Kenya Airways plane, flying from Douala in Cameroon to the Kenyan capital Nairobi, crashed.
The pitch was delayed while the company investigated the accident. Honour Aviation competed against seven other consultancies, among them two further UK groups and several international design consultancies, including one from Japan. Kenya Airways marketing director Michael Akwiri came to London in February to meet with the groups involved in the pitch.
The tender for the work was advertised at the start of the year, when it was reported that the airline was requesting substantial free creative work from groups. As a result, Landor Associates, known for its expertise in the airline industry, did not pitch.
A spokeswoman says, ‘We felt that it was inappropriate for clients to be asking, at the pitch stage, to do free creative work.’
The original pitch list is thought to have included up to 48 consultancies. In August, a spokeswoman for Kenya Airways told Design Week,
‘The pitch process was completed. We are in the process of finalising the contract with the selected supplier.’ The airline was unavailable for comment about the Honour Aviation appointment at the time of going to press, and Honour Aviation also declined to comment.
Kenya Airways has two lounges at London Heathrow Airport, in Terminal 2 and Terminal 4, which are expected to be included in Honour’s brief. Honour Aviation is a specialist division of Honour Branding, which was formed by Gerrie Smith, a former global aviation director of FutureBrand.
Honour Aviation was set up after the arrival of the former head of design management at British Airways, Mike Crump, who joined the group last year.
The aviation division offers a range of services from strategic bnbranding and cabin design, to design management consultancy. Crump was made redundant from British Airways last summer, after 15 years at the airline.
• Kenya Airways was established in 1977 following the break-up of the East African Community and the disbanding of the jointly owned East African Airways
• The airline has partnerships with KLM, Air France, Northwest Airlines, Rwandair, Air Mauritius, Korean Air and a private Tanzanian airline, Precisionair