Momentous Kenya-America flight launched

Momentous Kenya-America flight launched

Kenya Airways will launch nonstop daily service between Nairobi and New York JFK on October 28. The announcement came as a relief and confirmed the carrier had received the nod to land in the U.S. after a gruelling approval process.

The long wait for the maiden trip between the two cities is finally over, after the company set October 28, 2018, as the day the first flight will leave Nairobi for the USA. "It will determine the future of KQ and also shows the determination that KQ has to return to being the pride of Africa", the airline chairman Michael Joseph said.

Kenya Airways becomes the first airline in the region to offer direct flights to the United States. "We are honoured to contribute to the economic growth of Kenya and East Africa". It will depart Jomo Kenyatta airport at 23:25, arriving at JFK airport at 06:25 the following morning, with return flights departing NY at 12:25 and landing in Nairobi at 10:55 the next day. The flight will fly overnight in the westbound direction- unusual for transatlantic flights-departing Nairobi at 11:25 p.m. before arriving at JFK at 6:25 a.m. the following day. "This is a reduction from the current flight time of over 22 hours, including lengthy layovers", said Mikosz.

Operating a Boeing 787 Dreamliner with a capacity of 234 passengers, Kenya Airways will depart Nairobi at 11:25 p.m. and arrive the next day in NY at 6:25 a.m.

Kenya has in the previous year been in the process of acquiring the requisite approvals from the US Transport Security Administration for the direct flights and the national carrier admits it will be a logistic intensive exercise.

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Then the US Department of Transportation issued the permit for direct flights on September 5, 2017.

With over 40 American multinationals located in Nairobi and many more across Africa, daily flights will help to spur business travel and improve trade between America and Africa. Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) chief executive officer, Dr Betty Radier, welcomed the development saying anticipation is high the number of tourists visiting Kenya from the U.S. will grow.

The US remains Kenya's biggest tourist source market and KQ will be banking on the number of tourists as well as businessmen to make the route profitable.

The airline already serves Africa, Europe, Middle-East, Indian sub-continent and Asia.

He added that the airline had confidence in the route, saying "we would not embark on this if we were not confident that it will work".

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