US Direct Flights Plan to Create 150 Jobs at Kenya Airways

Kenya Airways to launch first US services in October 2018

"We are honoured to contribute to the economic growth of Kenya and East Africa", said Sebastian adding the route would increase the carrier's revenue by 10 per cent. KQ's entry into the USA comes at a time when the airline is implementing a turnaround strategy, with restructuring of its balance sheet aimed at keeping it flying.

The airline claims to be the first to offer direct services from East Africa to the US.

On Thursday, Kenya Airways CEO Sebastian Mikosz said the direct flights from Kenya to the U.S. will also create indirect jobs for its suppliers.

Najib Balala, Kenya's secretary of tourism, said the flight will position Kenya as the gateway to Sub-Saharan Africa for leisure and business travel. "We are honored to contribute to the economic growth of Kenya and East Africa", Mikosz said.

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.

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The return flight will depart at 12:25 p.m. and arrive back in Kenya at 10:55 a.m. the day after. Direct flights are expected to boost the numbers, with the travel time reducing from about 25 hours to about 15 hours.

"The ultra-long-haul flight, unique to Kenya Airways network, will require 4 Pilots and 12 Flight attendants as well as 85 tons of fuel each way, making it an exceptional operation".

However, ATW understands Ethiopian is not able to operate eastbound flights to the USA because its Addis Ababa Bole International Airport hub sits at high sea level (7,657 ft. above sea level), which reduces engine performance and requiring requiring a longer takeoff run, potentially exceeding the amount of available runway. Similarly, European carriers including British Airways, Lufthansa, KLM and many more provide flights that connect through airports in their home countries. Though they are not known for luxury, extremely cheap tickets or any other differentiating factor, they are going to help passengers cut down on one measure that so often determines which ticket people purchase: time of travel. "This is a reduction from the current flight time of over 22 hours, including lengthy layovers", said Mikosz.

As aircraft ranges continue to grow and flights that weren't possible even a few years ago begin to arise, airlines are able to grow in ways never before imagined.

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