To the delight of travel pros, Kenya Airways launching NY service

Jon Howard
January 14, 2018

Travelers heading to the United States of America will from October 28, be able to fly direct from the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport using Kenya Airways.

"We are excited to announce the opening of ticket sales for the only non-stop daily flight from Nairobi to the U.S.", said KQ chief executive officer Sebastian Mikosz.

The service will be operated by a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, which will traverse almost 7,400 miles of land and sea. The flight time is blocked at 15 hours westbound and 14 hours and 30 minutes in the eastbound direction.

The national carrier said it expected the flights between Nairobi's Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) and New York's JFK Airport to play a critical role in returning it profit making territory.

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

15 hours-A reduction from the current flight time of over 22 hours. From New-York it will depart at 1225 and land at JKIA at 1055 the following day.

The airline is counting on the tourism, with the United States being a key source market of vacationers, as well as opportunities to Kenyan businesses accorded by the African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) to sustain the flights. The announcement cements Kenya as a top investment hub in East Africa and firmly positions JKIA as the region's aviation hub.

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American firms with a deep presence include IBM, Coca-Cola, Google, Microsoft and Cisco.

Devan Jobanputra, director of Travel 'n Style in Kenya, says the direct flight will undoubtedly increase awareness and is likely to boost premium travel to the country.

Kenya Airways said the timings were set to allow connections to and from 40 African destinations.

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".

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

The firm recently announced a Sh3.8 billion half-year net loss for the business but hopes various initiatives will return it to profitability.

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