To the delight of travel pros, Kenya Airways launching NY service

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KQ chief executive Sebastian Mikosz, however, said both KQ and JKIA had received the critical approvals and added that the remaining requirements would be met as the airline sets up the route.

"The Nairobi-New York direct flight shows the determination of Kenya Airways remains to be the Pride of Africa", said Joseph.

The flight is also expected to increase tourism in Kenya, with the U.S. being its largest source market for tourists.

The aircraft, a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, will leave the Nairobi airport at 11.25 pm daily and reach John F Kennedy International Airport in NY at 6.25 am the next day.

The airline on Thursday started selling tickets for the inaugural and subsequent flights between Nairobi and NY.

The flight is scheduled to take 15 hours, a departure from the previous flight time of 22 hours including lengthy layovers passengers from JKIA had to cope with using connecting flights.

With over 40 American multinationals located in Nairobi and many more across Africa, the launch of daily flights is expected to further spur trade between America and Africa.

The national carrier said it expected the flights between Nairobi's Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) and New York's JFK Airport to play a critical role in returning it profit making territory. The flight will fly overnight in the westbound direction- unusual for transatlantic flights-departing Nairobi at 11:25 p.m. before arriving at JFK at 6:25 a.m. the following day.

The airline is counting on the tourism, with the United States being a key source market of vacationers, as well as opportunities to Kenyan businesses accorded by the African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) to sustain the flights.

The flight will connect Nairobi, Kenya's capital city and one of Africa's busiest and business-heavy cities, to one of the world's premier business hubs, New York City, which has not been possible until recently.

The Kenya Tourism Board has lauded Kenya Airways for the move, saying it was a big win for the sector in the country.

Kenya Airways was is 2017 named Africa's Leading Airline of the year at the World Travel Awards gala ceremony held in Kigali, Rwanda. "Our guests are at the heart of everything we do at the airline and these two awards confirm our undeterred commitment to them".

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