Kenya Airways (KQ) marked a milestone by becoming the first airline in East Africa to offer direct, non-stop flights from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi to John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York on Sunday.
KQA002 began the 16-hour flight at 10:55 pm and is scheduled to arrive at JFK Airport at 6:40 am.
“We are proud to be the first airline in East Africa to offer non-stop flights between Kenya and USA,” Sebastian Mikosz, KQ Group MD & CEO.
— Kenya Airways (@KenyaAirways) October 28, 2018
“The non-stop flight between Nairobi and New York will open up opportunities for investment, tourism and other business opportunities in Kenya and Africa,” said Ambassador, Monica Juma.
“Together through strategic partnerships, we have woven ties with both the Kenyan and USA governments.”This flight to New York enhances Nairobi’s position as a convenient gateway to Africa, ” Robert F. Godec, U.S. Ambassador to Kenya.
KQ’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner jet with a capacity of 234 seats will be used for the daily flight to New York carrying at least 460 passengers in both directions.
— Kenya Airports Authority (@KenyaAirports) October 29, 2018
According to the Kenya Airports, JKIA’s gate 19 at Terminal 1A will be facilitating the departure of #KQNBONYC nonstop flights. T1A has a capacity of 2.5 million passengers is predominantly used by Sky team partners, has 30 check-in counters and 13 departure gates.
Kenya joins Morocco, Cape Verde, Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria, Ethiopia, and South Africa who also have direct flights to the US.
In February 2017, Kenyan Civil Aviation was granted the International Aviation Safety Assessment (Category 1). This allows a state to establish (through its national airline or nominated carriers) direct flights to the USA.
In August 2018, the Kenya Airports Authority received the Last Point of Departure (LPD) clearance for Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) from the American government.