Speaking while making the announcement in Thursday, Kenya Airways chief executive officer Sebastian Mikosz said the airline will be targeting business and leisure travelers.
Henk Graaff, managing director of destination management company SW Africa, said the new flight is fantastic news for Kenya as well as for the entire East African region and the continent. However, ATW understands Ethiopian is not able to operate eastbound flights to the USA 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.
A Kenya Airways' aircraft, Boeing 787 Dreamliner, will be leaving Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi daily at 11.25 pm and reach John F Kennedy International Airport in NY at 6.25 am the next day.More news: China urges Japan to responsibly deal with comfort women issue
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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. "We are honoured to contribute to the economic growth of Kenya and East Africa". From New-York it will depart at 1225 and land at JKIA at 1055 the following day.
A return flight will then leave NY at 12.25 pm the same day and touch the ground in Nairobi at 10.55 am the following day.
"It will generate jobs, boost trade and stimulate tourism into Kenya". USA is now Kenya's top tourism source market, commanding a market share of 12.2 percent of total arrivals to Kenya as at October 2017.
Kenya Airways said the timings were set to allow connections to and from 40 African destinations. The route, which is set to commence on October 28, would be the airline's first to the U.S.