Kenya Airways will launch nonstop daily service between
Nairobi and New York JFK on Oct. 28.
Operating a Boeing 787 Dreamliner with a capacity of 234
passengers, Kenya Airways will depart Nairobi at 11:25 p.m. and arrive the next
day in New York at 6:25 a.m. The return flight will leave New York at 12:25
p.m. and arrive in Nairobi the next day at 10:55 a.m.
The flight duration is 15 hours eastbound and 14 hours
"This new flight is opening a new chapter in the
history of Kenya Airways," Kenya Airways Group CEO
Sebastian Mikosz said. "It will be possible to have dinner in Nairobi and
breakfast in New York."
Najib Balala, Kenya's secretary of tourism, said the flight
will position Kenya as the gateway to Sub-Saharan Africa for leisure and
business travel. He said the U.S. is already Kenya's top source market with
over 100,000 arrivals per year, and that number is expected to increase.
Tour operators say that the flight marks
a milestone for the entire region and is expected to considerably boost travel
from the U.S.
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.
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. He said it will open up new
packaging opportunities for tour operators.
"It will become a lot easier for tour operators to
consider East Africa in combination with Southern Africa, for example," he
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."
Prior to the announcement of the new flight, Kenya and Kenya
Airways went through stringent assessments before achieving
Category 1 status for safety standards established by the International Civil Aviation
Organization, a requirement for direct flights to the U.S.