Economy

Kenya eyes increased tourist flow from U.S. with launch of direct flights

Kenya eyes increased tourist flow from U.S. with launch of direct flights

With the commencement of this route, Kenya Airways will become the first and only airline to provide nonstop service from East Africa to the U.S. The route will also be the 6th nonstop route from New York's JFK Airport to the African continent.

Direct flights from JKIA to New York JFK will reduce the time flight from 25 hours to about 15 hours. From New York, flights will depart at 12:25 pm to land in Nairobi at 10.55 am, the following day.

Kenya Airways Chairman Michael Joseph said that the flights will symbolize the comeback for the airline that has been making losses for the past few years. "We are honored to contribute to the economic growth of Kenya and East Africa".

Kenya Airways will operate two Boeing 787 Dreamliners on the route with daily flights. Its duration will be 15 hours eastbound and 14 hours westbound. What was pending was approval of the Air Service Licence and Air Operation Licence from the United States authorities which has been granted.

The direct flight plan is expected to instantly reduce by six hours, travel time between the USA city and Nairobi and further boost tourism and trade ties between the two countries.

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

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Jim Holden, president of Holden Safaris, said, "Safaris in Kenya are very competitively priced, and now with direct flight connections, the destination offers an even more attractive safari package".

The chief executive noted the U.S. is Kenya's top tourist source market, with 95,771 people having visited between January and Oct 2017.

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 was is 2017 named Africa's Leading Airline of the year at the World Travel Awards gala ceremony held in Kigali, Rwanda. The airline says it hopes the new route to the USA will stimulate trade between the two nations.

It continues to modernize its fleet with its 32 aircrafts being some of the youngest in Africa.


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