Kenya Airways Launches Direct Flights To New York
Kenya Airways has finally launched its first ever direct flight to New York with its Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner leaving the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport for JF Kennedy International Airport in New York City, USA yesterday. The launching was presided over by President Uhuru Kenyatta together with other senior government officials. The team arrived at the Airport to bid farewell to the inaugural direct flight from Kenya to US. The government delegation aboard the flight was led by foreign affairs CS Monica Juma. Other senior officials aboard included Cabinet Secretary James Macharia, Kenya Airways chief executive Sebastian Mikosz and chairman, Michael Joseph among others.
Before the departure of this inaugural flight and historical flight, there were several choirs that entertained guests while security officials at the airport ensured that everything was under control throughout Sunday evening. President Kenyatta said that the direct flights will open up Kenya to the rest of the world as he spoke shortly before the departure. He added that the flights are set to provide a seamless experience for business and leisure travellers alike and t will allow the world to taste Kenya’s diverse cultures and hospitality.
Capacity and Time
The plane has a carrying capacity of 234 passengers of which 30 will be business class while 204 are of economy class. Unlike the normal flights from Kenya to US that have been taking up to 22 in hours in a distance of 13,713km, the new direct flight saves up to seven hours, as it will take only 15 hours. Previously, the journey from Nairobi to New York required a connection at in Europe, Africa or the Middle East.
With Sunday’s launching Kenya becomes the ninth country in Africa to have direct flights to US joining Cape Verde, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal and South Africa. The plane, which will consume up to 85,000 liters of fuel on a one-way trip, will also be flying with four pilots on board and 12 attendants.
The 787-8 Dreamliner has unique comfort and its part of the factors that enabled its adoption for this flight. The plane is made of 50 percent composite materials with carbon fibre-reiforced polymers that are both lighter and more durable than traditional aluminum.
what will it help
With no doubt, Kenya airways direct flights will encourage an increased number of travelers from USA and other parts of Europe. This also encourage travelers coming for gorilla safaris in Uganda through Kenya. There is great hope for increased wildlife safaris in Kenya’s national parks which will bring in increased foreign exchange. Also, travelers coming to Uganda for gorilla safaris find it easy to connect from Kenya to Uganda to see mountain gorillas in Bwindi impenetrable Forest National park and Mgahinga gorilla national park in south western Uganda.
As mentioned by the President of Kenya in his inaugural speech for the flight, the direct tourism industry of Kenya and the region at large is likely to be the biggest beneficially from this newly launched flight route. Majority of East African foreign tourists come from the States and their number is expected to just increase with this direct flight from New York to Nairobi and vice versa. The direct flight is expected to ease safaris into the region that include regional wildlife safaris like game drives in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda’s incredible parks like Maasai Mara, Serengeti and Murchison Falls respectively. East Africa game drive safaris may lead to watch the annual massive game migration in Kenya and Tanzania. Others include mountain gorilla trekking safaris in Uganda and Rwanda whereas mountain hiking and birding safaris also attract many to the region. Travelers can easily switch to any country of their destination in East Africa after arriving at the Jomo Kenyatta International airport in Nairobi either by air or road transport means.