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Kenya Airways has finally received the greenlight to operate direct flights to the United States. According to an order issued by the Department of Transportation, the permit became effective on September 5. It says it has given KQ a foreign air carrier permit.

Under the permit, Kenya’s national carrier will engage in “scheduled and charter foreign air transportation of persons, property, and mail from any point or points behind Kenya, via any point or points in Kenya and any intermediate points, to any point or points in the United States and beyond”.

The Department of Transportation had in June recommended that KQ, as the airline is commonly known, be granted the permit if there were no public objections. The President of the United States was also given a 61-day window to disapprove the permit.  No objection had been given by the time the window expired on September 05.

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Kenya was in February granted Category One status as officials from America’s Federal Aviation Administration gave approval for non-stop direct flights between the two countries.

This sets the stage for Kenya Airways and the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to begin going through the final regulatory hurdles before the take-off of the first flight from Nairobi to the United States.

In June, Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia said that officials from the United States would come to Kenya in October to carry out the final audit of the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

“This approval by the DOT has been achieved thanks to the hard work of great individuals within all the departments of KQ. I am confident that our team will complete the next milestones with the same success and allow us to operate non-stop flights to the US in 2018”, said Kenya Airways Commercial Director Vincent Coste.
In a statement, KQ said it is working with both the Kenyan ministry of Transport and the US Department authorities to ensure all requirements are met.


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