Kenya Airways to start direct flights to the US

Kenya Airways to start direct flights to the US

Kenya Airways has opened ticket sales on its website after ditching earlier plans to use a code share deal with partners on Sky Team to operate the Nairobi, New York route.

The airline's Chief Executive Officer Sebastian Mikosz on Thursday announced that a roundtrip Economy Class ticket will go for Sh89,000.

Henk Graaff, managing director of destination management company SW Africa, said the new flight is fantastic news for Kenya as well as for the entire East African region and the continent.

The flight is also expected to increase tourism in Kenya, with the United States being its largest source market for tourists.

A Kenya Airways' aircraft, Boeing 787 Dreamliner, will be leaving Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi daily at 11.25 pm and reach John F Kennedy International Airport in NY at 6.25 am the next day.

On Thursday, KQ started selling tickets for the inaugural and later flights between Nairobi and NY price-tagged $869 (Sh87 000) for the early worms but said the prices would increase depending on demand. We are honored to contribute to the economic growth of Kenya and East Africa.

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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.

Flights will depart daily from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) at 11.25 pm arriving at John F Kennedy International Airport in NY at 6.25 am the following day. From New-York it will depart at 1225 and land at JKIA at 1055 the following day. The 15-hour flight will operate onboard a B787 Dreamliner, with 234 seats.

The flight will connect Nairobi, Kenya's capital city and one of Africa's busiest and business-heavy cities, to one of the world's premier business hubs, New York City, which has not been possible until recently. "This is a reduction from the current flight time of over 22 hours, including lengthy layovers", said Mikosz.

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.

Kenya Airways was is 2017 named Africa's Leading Airline of the year at the World Travel Awards gala ceremony held in Kigali, Rwanda.

"We are honoured to contribute to the economic growth of Kenya and East Africa", said Sebastian adding the route would increase the carrier's revenue by 10 per cent. KQ's entry into the USA comes at a time when the airline is implementing a turnaround strategy, with restructuring of its balance sheet aimed at keeping it flying.

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