Published: Sun, January 14, 2018
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Kenya Airways launches NY flights

Kenya Airways launches NY flights

This marks a major milestone for the airline and the country that has been seeking direct market access to the United States for over a decade.

The return flight will depart at 12:25 p.m. and arrive back in Kenya at 10:55 a.m. the day after. The airline said revenues from the route had potential to increase earnings by 10 per cent in the course of 2019.

A business class ticket on the other hand retails for about Sh258,000.

Kenya Airways Chairman Michael Joseph at a past press briefing. Kenya Airways is hoping to open up an entirely new market, and they have a lot going for them. He says the new route will return the airline into profitability. "It will be profitable for us".

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Subsequent flights for the inaugural flight has started selling for KSH 87,000 ($869).

The airline and JKIA are however yet to receive all necessary approvals by the United States security and transport authorities, including JKIA being designated as a last point of departure while the airline is yet to receive an air operator certification.

"This is an exciting moment for us", Sebastian Mikosz, CEO and managing director of Kenya Airways Group said in a statement.

The national carrier has over the past one year reorganised its routes in a bid to free up capacity to fly direct to the US.

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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.

"The flights will be the fastest connection from East Africa to NY, with 15 hours duration eastbound and 14 hours westbound". The country is also a crucial market for Kenyan exports such as woven apparel, coffee, tea, spices, edible fruits, macadamia nuts and vegetables traded under AGOA but which have to travel long distances compromising quality and in turn reducing their value. "It will be possible to have dinner in Nairobi and breakfast in NY".

Kenya Airways (KQ) will commence direct daily flights from Nairobi to NY in October 2018.

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