Finally KQ to fly Nairobi-New York direct

Kenya Airways Chief Executive Officer Sebastian Mikosz

On Thursday, Kenya Airways began selling tickets for its new flight from its main hub in Nairobi to New York's John F. Kennedy Airport.

This means there will now be direct flights between Kenya and the US.

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

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.

Kenya Airways will operate two Boeing 787 Dreamliners on the route with daily flights.

A return flight will then leave NY at 12.25 pm the same day and touch the ground in Nairobi at 10.55 am the following day. It will land in NY the next day at 6.30 AM.

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.

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The airline was in September granted approval to operate flights in the US by the department of transportation while JKIA was earlier in 2017 granted a Category One status by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) after the airport upgraded its security features.

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.

With over 40 American multinationals located in Nairobi and many more across Africa, the launch of daily flights is expected to further spur trade between America and Africa.

Kenya Airways will be using its vast African connecting routes to pull passengers to fly direct to the US.

The chief executive noted the United States is Kenya's top tourist source market, with 95,771 people having visited between January and Oct 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. The airline says it hopes the new route to the U.S. will stimulate trade between the two nations.

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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