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If you want to fly direct from Kenya to the US, you will only be in a position to do so from a possible five times in a week. Either on a Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday.

This is because Kenya Airways has reduced the frequency of its flights from Nairobi to New York. The new route which began on October 28 for daily flights from the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) to the John F. Kennedy (JFK) airport will now see transit limited to five times a week.

KQ’s change will be effective as from January 15 of next year, according to a statement from Kenya Airways chief executive Sebastian Mikosz.

Mr Mikosz said the reason for the reduction is the expected change in demand for the flight schedule in the early parts of 2019.

“The decision to adjust our schedule is to cater for seasonality in line with global practices that allows airlines to reduce or add frequencies based on low or high seasons,” he said.

KQ’s CEO left the daily flights option open, dependent on the expected demand when summer time hits the northern hemisphere and thus traditionally precipitating a spike in travel plans in the US and Europe.


The New York flight had taken KQ around a decade to secure, and had launched with much fanfare towards the end of October. It promised to provide a gateway to East Africa for the North American market.

After getting clearance from international aviation agencies as to the capacity and viability of the flights, as well as the security measures at JKIA, the route’s maiden flight was flagged off by President Uhuru Kenyatta on October 28.

On board the first non-stop flight from Nairobi to New York were media personalities such as CNN’s Richard Quest and Alex Chamwada of Chams Media.

A unique schedule to KQ in that it is a long-haul flight, the non stop journey on board the Boeing 787 Dreamliner with a capacity of 234 passengers takes 15 hours from Nairobi to JFK. The return flight is a 14 hour journey from New York to JKIA.




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