Kenya’s National Carrier, Kenya Airways’ Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, has taken off from the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) for New York.
Through the direct flights, Kenya Airways will offer its customers a unique travel experience between two great gateways thus boosting trade relations between the US and Kenya. This will be the fastest connection from East Africa to New York, with 15 hours duration eastbound and 14 hours westbound.
The airline already serves Africa, Europe, Middle-East, Indian sub-continent and Asia.
According to U.S. Ambassador to Kenya Bob Godec, the United States and Kenya have a long and extraordinary partnership.
“Over 55 years we have demonstrated time and again that through strong cooperation and commitment – we can accomplish amazing things!” he said.
“The direct air link between our country and the US present great opportunities in trade, tourism and people-to-people relations.” Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta said.
KQ will become the first airline in East Africa to offer non-stop flights between the East Africa region and America opening the region to expanded Trade.
In the past few months, the Ambassador noted, we’ve had the extraordinary meeting between President Trump and President Kenyatta where we elevated our bilateral relationship to a Strategic Partnership.
“We welcomed a visit to Kenya from the First Lady of the United States, Melania Trump, who was graciously hosted by the First Lady of Kenya, Margaret Kenyatta. We received a visit from the U.S. President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa and signed a landmark business MOU between our two governments.” he said.
“As part of the visits, our companies have concluded nearly $1 billion in new trade and investment deals. And also we held our second Bilateral Defense Forum and further strengthened our security cooperation. And, in a visit just a week ago our top trade officials began talks on how to take our commercial partnership to a new, higher level.” he added.
With direct flights from New York to Nairobi, Kenya is an even more attractive place for U.S. businesses to set up offices, hold conferences and meetings, and it’s easier for business leaders to conclude mutually beneficial deals. This flight is a powerful new tool to generate revenue and create jobs in both Kenya and the United States.
“We are already seeing the benefits of the direct link. Next week, a trade delegation from Florida will arrive in Nairobi on this flight. They choose to come to Kenya in part because of the ease of the new connection.” The Ambassador noted.
According to data from the Kenya Tourism Board (KTB), the United States of America (USA) remains Kenya’s leading source market, growing by 17% to top 114,507 arrivals in 2017.
The U.S. market contributed 11.8% of arrivals. It was followed by the United Kingdom with an 11.1% share of arrivals, which also grew by 11.1% to 107,078 arrivals. Uganda came in third with a share of 6.4%, closely followed by India with a contribution of 6.2%. China closed the list of the top five performers with a share of 5.5% contribution to the total arrivals last year.
“I congratulate the Government of Kenya, including the Ministries of Transport, Interior and Tourism, including specifically Cabinet Secretary James Macharia, the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority and Captain Kibe, Kenya Airports Authority and Johnny Andersen, Sebastian Mikosz, Michael Joseph, and all of Kenya Airways, on this momentous accomplishment.” Mr Godec said.