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U.S. in 15 hours: KQ's maiden NY flight to cost Sh89,000

14 January 2018

Kenya Airways chief executive Sebastian Mikosz (centre) speaks during the launch of non-stop flight between Nairobi and NY.

As Kenya Airways (KQ) prepares to touch down in NY, the national carrier has started selling tickets for the maiden non-stop flight scheduled on October 28.

The service will be operated by a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, which will traverse almost 7,400 miles of land and sea.

The direct flight plan is expected to instantly reduce by six hours, travel time between the USA city and Nairobi and further boost tourism and trade ties between the two countries.

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The return flight will depart at 12:25 p.m. and arrive back in Kenya at 10:55 a.m. the day after.

Kenya Airways says its direct flights plan to the United States will see more than 150 new jobs created in additional to other economic benefits. Direct flights are expected to boost the numbers, with the travel time reducing from about 25 hours to about 15 hours. "This is a reduction from the current flight time of over 22 hours, including lengthy layovers", said Mikosz. Indications of the direct flights could be allowed came to light in February previous year when Kenya was granted Category One status after officials from the US Federal Aviation Administration gave approval for non-stop direct flights between the two countries.

Jim Holden, president of Holden Safaris, said, "Safaris in Kenya are very competitively priced, and now with direct flight connections, the destination offers an even more attractive safari package".

The KQ planes will carry 234 passengers, with 30 at the premium world class and 204 in the economy section.

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

The chief executive noted the USA is Kenya's top tourist source market, with 95,771 people having visited between January and Oct 2017.

The airline already serves Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and cities in Asia.

The national carrier also said the new flight route to the USA will boost the country's economy as it would see tourism and trade rise between the two countries.

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U.S. in 15 hours: KQ's maiden NY flight to cost Sh89,000