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NY firmly on radar as KQ opens ticket sales

12 January 2018

On Thursday, KQ started selling tickets for the inaugural and later flights between Nairobi and NY price-tagged $869 (Sh87 000) for the early worms but said the prices would increase depending on demand.

Kenya Airways becomes the first airline to offer a non-stop flight between East Africa and the United States of America.

"This ultra-long haul flight requires ultra-resources and we are providing the best for our guests", Mikosz said.

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The carrier, which is 7.8 percent owned by Air France KLM, has started taking bookings for the flights to NY that will carry 234 passengers each way on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner plane.

The national carrier said it expected the flights between Nairobi's Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) and New York's JFK Airport to play a critical role in returning it profit making territory.

"The move will cut the flight time between the two cities by more than seven hours", he said, noting it will take 15 hours eastbound and 14 hours westbound. "This is a reduction from the current flight time of over 22 hours, including lengthy layovers", said Mikosz. What was pending was approval of the Air Service Licence and Air Operation Licence from the U.S. authorities which has been granted.

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With more than 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.

This even as the airline and JKIA await the necessary approvals by the United States security and transport authorities, including designation of the airport as a last point of departure and the airline receiving air operator certification.

Kenya Airways will be using its vast African connecting routes to pull passengers to fly direct to the US. The airline says it hopes the new route to the U.S. will stimulate trade between the two nations.

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Between January and October 2017 over 95,000 tourists visited Kenya, a 20 percent increase in traffic every year for the past two years.

NY firmly on radar as KQ opens ticket sales