14 January, 2018
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.
Kenya has in the past 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.
Kenya Airways flight will be the fastest connection from East Africa to NY, with 15 hours duration eastbound and 14 hours westbound and will be operated by a Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
The flight is scheduled to take 15 hours, a departure from the previous flight time of 22 hours including lengthy layovers passengers from JKIA had to cope with using connecting flights. The return flight will leave NY at 12:25 p.m. and arrive in Nairobi the next day at 10:55 a.m. From New-York it will depart at 12:25 landing at JKIA at 10:55 the following day.
Then the US Department of Transportation issued the permit for direct flights on September 5, 2017.
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.
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"The flights will substantially boost Kenya's global profile as a tourism destination as they will provide a shorter, quicker and more affordable connection for tourists and business", she said. This development will most likely enhance trade, tourism and general customer satisfaction. "Our guests are at the heart of everything we do at the airline and these two awards confirm our undeterred commitment to them".
The U.S.is now Kenya's top tourism source market, commanding a market share of 12.2 percent of total arrivals to Kenya as of October 2017.
Kenya Airways was is 2017 named Africa's Leading Airline of the year at the World Travel Awards gala ceremony held in Kigali, Rwanda.
It continues to modernize its fleet with its 32 aircrafts being some of the youngest in Africa.