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KQ postpones resumption of New York flights due to booking cancellations

By Hilary Kimuyu November 2nd, 2020 2 min read

Kenya Airways has pushed the resumption of flights to New York to November 29 following increased cancellation of flight bookings.

In a statement, Kenya Airways said it had made alternative arrangements for customers who had booked and are still scheduled to travel before November 29.

The resumption was initially set for October 29 with the airline promising a bi-weekly schedule after cancelling flights due to Covid-19 early in the year.

“We greatly appreciate the internet and support of our customers who had booked with us and have made alternative arrangements for their travel,” KQ Corporate Communications said.

“We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience caused.”

The Airline was initially operating five flights to New York every week before the Covid-19 pandemic destabilised operations.

 Read: Kenya Airways to resume Nairobi-New York flights by end month

The push back is expected to see KQ stay out of the new route further having last operated passenger flights on the course in early April.

Coronavirus-led disruptions have seen the carrier struggle to grow demand on the route having only begun operations in October 2018.

Last month, the national carrier announced that it would resume direct flights to New-York from Nairobi with a slimmed down operation of two weekly flights after a six-month freeze due to Covid-19 restrictions.

KQ was to initially operate flights on Wednesday and Sunday, down from a frequency of five before the global virus outbreak that forced it to ground flights.

The airline reduced the number of flights on the New York route from seven to five a week effective January 2019.

The airline that ferried 104,000 passengers on the New-York route between January and October 2019 had forecast its daily direct flights to the US would boost annual revenues by more than 10 percent in 2019 and 2020.

The long-haul route is aimed to encourage more business and tourist travel, with the US being one of Kenya’s biggest sources of visitors.

KQ had said it will charge Sh118,845 on a return air ticket from Nairobi to New York, a journey that takes about 15 hours.

It was to charge about Sh77,000 for a one-way air ticket between the two destinations, prices that are relatively the same compared to what it was charging before the Covid-19 pandemic.