Kenya Airways is set to become the first airline offer a non-stop flight between East Africa and the United States of America starting October 2018.
The flight’s inaugural ceremony is set to will take place on 28th October this year, and the Kenya national career has already started selling tickets for the inaugural flight.
The Airline, which will be setting from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), will serve Africa, Europe, Middle-East, Indian Sub-Continent and Asia.
However, the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport will, over the next 100 days, undergo major changes as Kenya gears up for the roll-out of direct flights to the United States.
The changes are looked at as will help not only to modify the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, but also enhance the East African country’s economic growth as well.
‘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 honored to contribute to the economic growth of Kenya and East Africa,’ said Kenya Airways Group Managing Director and CEO Sebastian Mikosz.
James Macharia, the Cabinet Secretary of Transport and Infrastructures said that the changes were meant to create harmony among workers at the airport so that they can deliver services at international standards, after the airport’s status was upgraded to Category 1 to pave the way for direct flights to America starting October.
JKIA is to be transformed into a global aviation hub – officials explain.
‘We want to ensure all agencies at the airport work together. JKIA is a key hub in the region and we should therefore meet the expectations of the international community,’ Macharia said.
Dr Fred Matiang’i, the Cabinet Secretary of Interior also added that the changes will improve efficiency in handling travelers and creating order at the airport. To begin with, there will be new regulations to control taxis and tour vans.
Dr. Matiang’i also revealed that public servants at JKIA including the police, Kenya Revenue Authority and Immigration officials will all be trained on customer care, and there will be more service desks to handle the anticipated increase in the number of travelers.
‘We must make tough decisions to ensure that there is maximum order at the airport,’ Dr Matiang’i said, ‘and we need to improve efficiency at Immigration. This is the front desk for the country. We received many complaints in December as a result of the increased number of travelers.’
Sources show that the Immigration officials had suggested the recruitment of interns during high seasons, but the minister said they will use National Youth Service personnel.
Mr Balala said that in 100 days, order will have been created.
‘We have appointed Utalii College to train public servants here on customer care so that travelers are treated well,’ he said.
According to a statement from Kenya Airways, they will offer its customers a unique travel experience between two great gateways. It will be the fastest connection from East Africa to New York, with a15 hours duration eastbound and 14 hours westbound – reported a local news paper.
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.
The airline is said to will operate its state of the art Boeing 787 Dreamliner with a capacity of 234 passengers.
The flight will depart every day from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport hub in Nairobi at 23:25 arriving at JFK airport in New York at 06:25 the following day- reports show.
From New-York it will depart at 12:25 landing at JKIA at 10:55 the following day. Its duration will be 15 hours east bound and 14 hours west bound.
Reporter: Syeda Faiza Bukha