Kenya Airways has called on US investors and the Kenyan business community to take advantage of the non-stop flights to New York that will link Africa, the United States and the rest of the world.
The inaugural non-stop flight is scheduled to be flagged off the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) for the John F. Kennedy Airport on October 28, 2018.
“We will be offering a Unique Product as the only airline with non-stop daily flights between East Africa and the United States. We are excited for this milestone which is the 52nd destination worldwide in our growing network,” Sebastian Mikosz said.
Speaking during a special networking luncheon in honour of the United States Under Secretary for International Trade at the U.S. Department of Commerce, Gilbert Kaplan, the CEO said the airline will operate the state-of-the-art B787-8 Dreamliner on the Nairobi- New York route.
Kenya and the United States have been close allies and have enjoyed cordial bilateral relations since independence. There are about 50 American companies and organisations operating in the country.
The US is also Kenya’s top tourist source market. A total of 95,700 tourists visited Kenya in the first 10 months of last year, a 20 percent increase in traffic every year for the past two years.
On his part the United States Under Secretary for International Trade, Gilbert Kaplan said:
“I am delighted to celebrate the great progress Kenya Airways, Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, and the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority have made by establishing a direct flight between Nairobi and New York. The new flight symbolizes the direct links that our businesses and governments share, and will help us promote greater commercial and cultural exchange between our countries.”
Early this month, Kenya Airways introduced three non-stop flights from its hub at JKIA to Cape Town, South Africa. This is in line with its broader strategy to assert its presence and expand connectivity across Africa in a bid to open up opportunities for tourism, trade and investment.
Similarly, the airline launched four-weekly direct flights to Mauritius to add to the already existing code-share agreement with Air Mauritius.
“We are indeed very proud to increase our frequencies around the globe to cater for the growing number of our customers who travel from Nairobi. It is a big boom for the tourism industry as it establishes vital links with our global network,” said Sebastian.
According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) – a trade association of the world’s 290 airlines – every day 104,000 flights take off and over 10 million passengers travel and goods to their destination with the volume of goods valued at US$ 17.5 billion or 35 percent of all world trade by value.
Kenyan export earnings to the US continue to exhibit an upward trend. The main exports include apparel and clothing accessories which constitute more than 60 per cent of total domestic exports to the US. Last year, domestic exports of apparels rose by 5.9 per cent to Kshs 30.2 billion