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Kenya Airways Celebrates First Steps of Nairobi-New York Flight
12 January 2018, 10:00 | Devin Moran
11 January 2018
Kenya Airways Unveils Direct Flight to New York
Kenya Airways will operate two Boeing 787 Dreamliners on the route with daily flights.
On Thursday, Kenya Airways CEO Sebastian Mikosz said the direct flights from Kenya to the USA will also create indirect jobs for its suppliers. "We are honored to contribute to the economic growth of Kenya and East Africa".
The ultra-long-haul flight, unique to Kenya Airways network, will require 4 Pilots and 12 Flight attendants as well as 85 tons of fuel each way, making it an exceptional operation.
The direct flight from Kenya's Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) to the United States is set to create over 150 jobs at the airport. This is expected to significantly reduce flight time between these two cities from more than 22 hours to 15 hours. 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. What was pending was approval of the Air Service Licence and Air Operation Licence from the United States authorities which has been granted.
Kenya has in the previous 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. The announcement cements Kenya as a top investment hub in East Africa and firmly positions JKIA as the region's aviation hub. This development will most likely enhance trade, tourism and general customer satisfaction.
The airline already serves Africa, Europe, Middle-East, Indian sub-continent and Asia. He says the new route will return the airline into profitability.
This convenient schedule will allow connections to and from over 40 African destinations through Kenya Airways hub in Nairobi.
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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