More than 100,000 US citizens are expected to visit Kenya before the end of the year following the launch of daily direct flights between the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi and the John F Kennedy Airport in New York on Sunday night.
United States Ambassador to Nairobi Bob Godec, who made the return journey on the inaugural flight, has expressed his excitement at the potential of the Kenya Airways feat, which is expected to bring in more US business people and tourists to the East African shores as well as spur trade and investment.
Already on my way back to #MagicalKenya – a trip made easy by the inaugural @KenyaAirways flight from #NewYork to #Nairobi! Great to see some of the more 100,000 Americans who will visit Kenya this year on the flight! Easier than ever to travel! @Min_TourismKE @USEmbassyKenya
— Ambassador Bob Godec (@BobGodec) October 30, 2018
The Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner is expected to land at the JKIA at 10:30 am after a journey that has cut off nearly 8 hours the duration it took travellers to commute between Kenya and the US.
According to Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma, who was among dignitaries who made the inaugural trip, Kenya Airways has so far received 1,974 bookings for the direct route covering four consecutive days.
KQ has an offer on the route with an introductory fare for the direct flight at Ksh 75,000 for economy class and Ksh 213,000 for business class tickets booked by May next year.
The daily flights will be serviced by the Dreamliners, which are preferred for long-haul routes. Besides having high fuel capacity than smaller aircraft, the Dreamliner burns as much as 20 per cent less fuel, saving costs for airlines.
“This is a historic moment for both Kenya and the United States…I know this flight is going to make new things possible — new business deals, new trade, new investment, more opportunities for students to come from the United States to Kenya, and Kenya to the United States,” said Godec.