NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 7 – Kenya Airways (KQ) will begin direct flights to the United States in March 2018.
Transport Cabinet Secretary told The Exchange that Kenya’s national carrier is awaiting clearance from the US-Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) before commencing flights to America.
Among the crucial licenses include the Air Service License which gives it commercial approval and the Air Operating Certificate, which gives it technical authority to operate to the US.
The airline has already been granted air traffic rights to the US airspaces.
In February Kenya’s Main airport, Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) attained “Category one” status on, having met the mandatory status required by US authorities.
The government has been spending heavily on refurbishing JKIA with investments of about Sh1.3 billion in new security equipment as well as Sh9 billion to build Terminal 1 and the fabricated Terminal Two.
Under former US President Barrack Obama’s administration, trade and investments between Kenya and the US recorded remarkable growth, with net imports increasing by 206.4 per cent from the previous administration, highlighting the improved activity in trade between the two nations.
Imports from the US increased by 90.4 per cent, faster than exports to the US, which grew by 81.9 per cent, an indication that Kenya depends more on the US; and with over 96 investment projects in Africa worth $6.9bn (Sh702 billion) as at 2015, the US remains to be the single largest investor in Africa.
Kenya receives a large proportion of these investments and as at 2015; Kenya recorded a 12.3 per cent share of Africa’s Foreign Direct Investment.
Moreover, the United States is also the number one source market for Kenya’s tourists and the move will greatly increase the number of tourists coming to the Kenyan market.