There will only be two weekly flights to New York from Nairobi in Kenya Airways’ direct flight which is set to resume on October 29.
The KQ direct flight was launched in October 2018.
For the last six months, KQ’s direct flights to John F Kennedy Airport (JFK) in New York remained grounded due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The two weekly flights are scheduled for Wednesday and Sunday. Before the pandemic, there were five direct flights to the US. The five had been reduced from the daily flights there before.
For a return air ticket, KQ will charge Ksh118,845 for the 15-hour journey from Nairobi to New York while a one-way ticket will cost Ksh77,000.
KQ explained that the passenger traffic had declined forcing the airline to cap the flights at five beginning January 2019.
In the first year of operations – between October 2018 and October 2019 – an estimated 104,000 passengers travelled on KQ’s direct flight to the US.
The thinking behind the Kenya-US direct flights was to boost KQ’s revenues by at least 10 percent.
Factors considered when mooting the idea for a direct flight between these two counties were the number of US passengers coming into Kenya for business and tourism.
Kenya Airways was the first East African country to launch a direct flight to the US.
The CEO for Kenya Airways Sebastian Mikosz said that: “This is an exciting moment for us. It fits within our strategy to attract corporate and high-end tourism traffic from the world to Kenya and Africa. We are honoured to contribute to the economic growth of Kenya and East Africa.”
KQ made its maiden direct flight to the US in October 2018 in its state-of-the-art Boeing 787 Dreamliner with a capacity of 234 passengers.