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Kenya Airways Launches Direct Flight – Nairobi to New York

Have you heard the news yet? Have you heard all of it?

Yes, Kenya Airways (KQ) just launched direct flights between Nairobi and New York.

The direct flight to New York from Nairobi. The move was welcomed by both ordinary passengers and the business.
community as evidenced by the carrier’s well-attended inauguration dinner. The dinner was attended by the President of Kenya, Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta, The Cabinet Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Monica Juma, as well as influential business and corporate leaders.

Though the launch only happened recently, it took quite a while to implement.

Do you know what it took to launch direct flights to USA?
For Kenya to be granted permission to fly directly to the United States of America, the country needed to fulfill four key conditions: –

  1. Upgrade to category one status
    In simple terms, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of USA had to ensure that Kenya was capable, qualified and competent enough to run a safe and efficient civil oversight system. The Kenyan Government through its Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) made every effort to comply with all the requirements to be upgraded.
  2. Grant of traffic rights
    Kenya needed to be granted traffic rights (the commercial authority to operate between Kenya and USA) which was granted.
  3. Permit as last point of departure to USA
    USA had to be absolutely sure that a flight departing from Nairobi to USA would reach its destination without someone interfering with it during the flight.
  4. Possess an air operating certificate
    This is the technical authority granted by the FAA to operate flights between Kenya and USA. For Kenya to acquire this certificate, the International Civil Aviation Administration audited Kenya Civil Aviation Authority’s capability to play an oversight role and ensure that Kenya’s aviation system meets the previous three requirements. Fortunately, the body was deemed fit for its task. In fact, the body scored 78% in the audit which is significantly better than the average global standard which is 62%.

Meeting all these four conditions took no small effort. In fact it took Kenya six years to finally meet all the conditions to qualify for category one status. Nairobi now becomes only the eighth city in Africa to have a direct connection to the USA while, Kenya Airways now becomes only the fifth African carrier to have a non-stop flight to the USA. Truly, an achievement.

Why is this exciting?
For the direct flights, Kenya Airways (KQ) is operating Boeing’s Dream Liner 787-8. The airline is capable of carrying two hundred and thirty-four seats. A direct flight from Nairobi to New York will take a maximum of fifteen hours, while one from New York to Nairobi will take about fourteen hours.

Of course, this new development is a boon for the business community. For one; more convenient and faster flights translate to more tourists. Getting to Kenya is now less of a hassle since guests don’t have to deal with numerous stopovers and connections. Furthermore, Kenya’s key exports (tea, coffee, textiles and flower) will easily find their way to the US market which of course means that more can be exported. Last year alone, Kenya exported goods worth four hundred and seventy million dollars to the USA and imported five hundred and sixty million dollars worth of goods from the USA. Now that there is increased ease of transportation, these numbers are expected to increase. This will in turn have a positive effect on the GDP and economy of both countries.

Now, you’re thinking all that’s well and good but what’s in it for me? I’ll tell you what is in it for you; convenience, time saved and comfort. If you’ve been a regular client of Kenya Airways, then you know what a long way they’ve come. Back in the eighties and nineties it took close to forty-eight hours to get to the US. Moreover, you’d likely have about five stopovers before you got to your destination. Of course for passengers at that time, it was normal. However, times have changed.

The world is moving so fast and most countries, including Kenya, are turning into twenty-four-hour economies. The lesser time you spend on a flight, the more time you have to catch up with what’s going on the ground. Thankfully, Kenya Airways is now catching up with the needs of its clients. Just a year or so ago, the flight time between Kenya and the USA was about twenty three hours and that included a stopover either in Amsterdam or London.

The current flight time is fifteen hours. That’s seven hours saved. Seven hours! Imagine what you could do with that time. Visit more places, have several meetings, spend more time with family… there is no downside.

What will it cost you?
Currently, the cheapest rate is USD 865.00 for a return ticket but as always we’re keeping an eye out for you and we’ll make sure to let you know if that rate goes down. For now this is what the schedule looks like:

1 KQ 002 NBO JFK 2325 0625
2 KQ 003 JFK NBO 1200 1030

If you’ve got any questions, comments or are interested in making a reservation, feel free to contact us by email for flight booking or call us on +254716167627.

We look forward to hearing from and working with you.

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