Kenya Airways (KQ) will from October 28th 2018 make daily flights from Nairobi to NY. However, ATW understands Ethiopian is not able to operate eastbound flights to the United States because its Addis Ababa Bole International Airport hub sits at high sea level (7,657 ft. above sea level), which reduces engine performance and requiring requiring a longer takeoff run, potentially exceeding the amount of available runway.
It will arrive at JKF at 6.30am, while the return flight will depart at 1.30pm and arrive at JKIA at around 10.30am the next day.
Devan Jobanputra, director of Travel 'n Style in Kenya, says the direct flight will undoubtedly increase awareness and is likely to boost premium travel to the country.
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The airline on Thursday started selling tickets for the inaugural and subsequent flights between Nairobi and NY. While an elated chairman, Michael Joseph, said the development was as a symbol of KQ rebound. "It will determine the future of KQ and also shows the determination that KQ has to return to being the pride of Africa", he said.
It is anticipated that the new form of easier travel to the USA will directly impact Kenya's economy through direct and indirect employment, as well as boosting trade between the two nations.
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.
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US -bound passengers from Kenya must now change planes in Europe or the Gulf on a journey that can take 20 hours or more. It is the largest tourist source market, and in the period to October 2017 accounted for close to 100 000 tourists to Kenya.
The flight is scheduled to take 15 hours, a departure from the previous flight time of 22 hours including lengthy layovers passengers from JKIA had to cope with using connecting flights.
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Kenya Airways celebrated 40 years of operations in January 2017 and was named Africa Leading Airline 2017 by the World Travel Awards.