Kenya Airways to launch its inaugural direct flight to the US

Published on : Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Kenya AirwaysAfter Kenya’s approval for Category One status by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in April 2017 and Jomo Kenyatta International Airport’s elevation to the status of a Last Point of Departure (LPD), Kenya Airways (KQ) will launch its inaugural direct flight to the US on 28th of this month.

KQ will be flying daily from Nairobi to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.
The launch of KQ’s direct flight to the US is an important milestone for Kenya, considering that America is the country’s leading tourism source market with a share of 11.8 per cent as of December 2017. Tourist arrivals from the US grew by 17 per cent from 97,883 in 2016 to 114,507 in 2017.

Kenya Airways’ direct flight to the US is a welcome development, as it is expected to speed up the growth of the tourism industry by contributing to increased arrivals.

The US is currently one of the best-performing outbound markets in the world, according to the World Travel Monitor. The UNWTO reports indicate that the US is the world’s second largest tourism source market after China.

Strong outbound demand has been fuelled by a robust US economy, which has increased the purchasing power of travellers. The launch of direct flights between Nairobi and New York City brings an immediate opportunity that could drive Kenya forward as the East African hub.

Forty-eight American companies and international organizations already have regional hubs in Nairobi. They include the United Nations, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Google, IBM, General Electric, and Pfizer.

The flight will have a direct impact on the Kenyan economy by generating jobs and boosting trade between Kenya and the US, both in terms of goods and services.

The direct flight will facilitate direct cargo shipment of Kenya’s exports like flowers, tea, and coffee as well textiles and apparels by air, directly to the US market.


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