Kenya Airways resumes daily flights to New York

A Kenya Airways flight approaches landing at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi. The US government has granted the airline a permit to operate direct flights. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Kenya Airways (KQ) has resumed daily flights to New York as it moves to cash in on growing demand for air travel on the route.

The carrier had increased the flight frequency on the route to five times per week from three last year in December, citing high passenger bookings.

The higher demand is a positive signal for the tourism sector, for which the US remains the largest overseas source market accounting for 16 percent of the 870,465 visitors into the country last year.

The carrier has also increased frequencies on routes such as Paris to daily flights from five times a week, Madagascar to nine times per week from seven, Comoros to five times weekly from four, Amsterdam to five times every week from four, Johannesburg to 24 times from four weekly and London to 14 times from 12 times.

KQ has grappled with fluctuating demand on the US route since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, hence the shifting flight frequencies.

“The network enhancement is routine and is informed by the return to air travel as the aviation industry recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic and in support of the tourism sector in Kenya,” said the airline.

Kenya Airways started direct flights to JF Kennedy International Airport in New York from Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in October 2018, with the route seen as key to reviving the airline’s fortunes.

It has, however, been struggling with low numbers on the route since it resumed operations following months of grounding occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic.

This flight allows the airline to benefit from connecting travellers who transit through JKIA from other African capitals that lack direct access to the world’s largest economy.

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