Kenya Airways’ maiden direct flight to JKF Airport in New York has landed safely. The plane, which left Jomo Kenyatta International Airport at 10.45 pm on Sunday, touched down in New York on Monday morning 645 am about 1.30 pm Kenyan time.
Kenya Airports Authority tweeted: “She has Landed! Congratulations
@KenyaAirways on your maiden nonstop direct flight to New York! #KQNBONYC #JKIAConnectingTheWorld.
It followed this with this clip showing the plane making a safe landing.
— Kenya Airports (@KenyaAirports) October 29, 2018
The inaugural flight to New York is a major milestone for Kenya’s aviation sector especially for the numerous economic opportunities in sectors such as tourism and trade. A direct air link with the United States will give Kenya increased access to the large US economy, the biggest in the world, as well as the entire North American region.
JKIA is already one Africa’s busiest air transport hubs in Africa, and the launch of direct flights to New York is expected to elevate its importance and cement Nairobi’s position as one of Africa’s biggest economic movers. Kenya Airways already serves at least 40 destinations in Africa alone and also flies to Europe, Asia, the Middle East and the Indian Sub Continent.
The launch of the extra long haul flight is expected to attract more US corporations into the Kenyan market, to add to the more than 40 that have already set base in Nairobi as their Africa headquarters. The direct flight will also increase tourist traffic to Kenya with the government projecting that it will bring in more corporate and high-end tourists.
The wider Eastern and Central Africa region also stands to gain economically from the latest milestone in Kenya’s active aviation sector.