Nairobi News


Kenya Airways resumes daily flights to New York as demand rises

Kenya Airways (KQ) has resumed daily flights to New York as it moves to cash in on the upcoming demand for air travel in the summer season.

The national carrier has been operating five daily flights on the US route since January, when passenger demand was low as America entered the winter season.

“Starting today (June 19th, 2023), fly daily to New York from Nairobi and experience this amazing city. Dive into the city’s rich history and culture by visiting the Metropolitan Museum, or indulge in world-class dining, shopping, and entertainment,” KQ said on its Twitter handle.

Also read: TikToker shares immigration hacks for Canada: Don’t get conned

The higher demand is a positive signal for the tourism sector, for which the US remains the largest overseas source market.

KQ has grappled with fluctuating demand on the US route since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, hence the shifting flight frequencies.

Kenya Airways started direct flights to JF Kennedy International Airport in New York from Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in October 2018, with the route seen as key to reviving the airline’s fortunes.

It has, however, been struggling with low numbers on the route since it resumed operations following months of grounding occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic.

This flight allows the airline to benefit from connecting travellers who transit through JKIA from other African capitals that lack direct access to the world’s largest economy.

The flight duration between the two cities is 15 hours eastbound and 14 hours westbound.

Also read: Popular mall Two Rivers declared a special economic zone

Last week, KQ inked an interline deal with Emirates that will allow passengers of the two airlines to use a single ticket and baggage policy, in a deal likely to boost the fortunes of Kenya’s national carrier.

Passengers of KQ travelling from Nairobi and Mombasa will access 23 destinations in Emirates’ network through its hub in Dubai. The destinations include Singapore, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Jakarta.

The deal looks to boost KQ’s numbers amid stiff competition from Ethiopian Airlines, ultimately bolstering the push to grow revenues and cut perennial losses.

“This partnership will provide the ideal gateway for our customers as we seek to increase our connectivity between Africa and the Middle East through Emirates’ hub in Dubai,” KQ’s chief commercial and customer officer, Julius Thairu, said.

An interline deal allows passengers to check in once for all the flights on the itinerary, receive all their boarding passes and transfer luggage from the first airline to the second airline without having to collect it and drop it off again.

Kenya Airways flies to Dubai from Nairobi and Mombasa four times a week, while Emirates operates 14 weekly flights between Nairobi and Dubai.

Also read: Acha uongo! Fans call out Pastor Muthee Kiengei over divorce claims