Direct US flights elicit cheers from Kenyans abroad

Kenya Airways
Kenya Airways' maiden direct flight to New York City will take place on October 28, 2018. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

Kenyans living in the US have lauded Kenya Airways' #ticker:KQ (KQ) plan to roll-out direct flights to New York City's John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in October.

“This is the best New Year gift our premier carrier, the Pride of Africa, has given to us Kenyans living here who make numerous trips to Kenya for different reasons.

“I can’t exactly tell you how happy I feel about this news,” said Stanely Njoroge, a Kenyan born resident of South Jersey.


On Wednesday, KQ announced that the airline's website and agents were officially open for booking for those who want to buy tickets to and from the US, marking a milestone for the national carrier.

The move, industry experts have said, would cut flight time between the two cities by more than seven hours.

Kenyans living in the US who were interviewed by Nation said they were excited by the move not just because it would save them money and time but also because of pride.

“Kenya is a regional power house and so it didn’t make sense that Ethiopian and South African airlines fly directly to the US and KQ doesn’t,” said Abubakar Rajab of Philadelphia.

Travellers will from Thursday be able to make advance booking for the maiden flight to the John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York City.

Kenya Airways has already secured a landing slot at JFK.

The trans-Atlantic flight is scheduled to depart JKIA at 10.30pm every day, a journey that will last 15 hours.

This is a reduction from the current flight time of over 22 hours, including lengthy layovers.

Travellers to JFK will arrive there at 6.30am, while the return flight from JKF will depart at 1.30pm and arrive in Nairobi at 10.30am the next day.

Each trip will have a maximum of 234 passengers — 204 in economy and the rest in business class of the national carrier’s Dreamliner aircraft.

This story was first published on Nation