East Africa anticipates benefits from Kenya - US direct flights

New York

Prior to the announcement of the new flight, Kenya and Kenya Airways went through stringent assessments before achieving Category 1 status for safety standards established by the International Civil Aviation Organization, a requirement for direct flights to the U.S.

KQ Chief Executive Officer, Sebastian Mikosz also noted that the launch of direct flights will create indirect employment opportunities through its suppliers.

Kenya Airways will operate a Boeing 787-8 to New York JFK with a total capacity of 234 passengers and 16 crew members.

The national carrier also said the new flight route to the United States will boost the country's economy as it would see tourism and trade rise between the two countries.

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Najib Balala, Kenya's secretary of tourism, said the flight will position Kenya as the gateway to Sub-Saharan Africa for leisure and business travel.

Good news as Kenya's national carrier, Kenya Airways (KQ), prepares to start direct daily flights from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi to John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in NY.

East Africa-based Ethiopian Airlines operates nonstop flights from the USA east coast on westbound flights returning to Addis Ababa. 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. "We are honoured to contribute to the economic growth of Kenya and East Africa". The flight will depart daily from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport hub in Nairobi at 2325 and arrive at JFK airport in NY at 0625 the following day. Economy class ticket is going for Sh106,365.

Up until now, numerous carriers have provided one-stop service from all across East Africa to the U.S. Gulf carriers all do so through their global superhubs in Qatar, Dubai and Abu Dhabi. "This is a reduction from the current flight time of over 22 hours, including lengthy layovers", said Mikosz. Kenya Airways is hoping to open up an entirely new market, and they have a lot going for them.

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