Finally KQ to fly Nairobi-New York direct

Kenya Airways Boeing 787-8

Kenya Airways Boeing 787-8 Rob Finlayson

On Thursday, KQ started selling tickets for the inaugural and later flights between Nairobi and NY price-tagged $869 (Sh87 000) for the early worms but said the prices would increase depending on demand.

The flight is scheduled to take 15 hours, a departure from the previous flight time of 22 hours including lengthy layovers passengers from JKIA had to cope with using connecting flights.

According to the loss-making national carrier, the flights between Nairobi's Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) and New York's JFK Airport will play a critical role in returning it to profitability adding that the airline's revenues from the route had the potential to increase its earnings by 10 per cent in the course of 2019.

"This is an exciting moment for us".

Two Boeing 787 Dreamliner's each with capacity of 234 passengers (30 premier world and 204 economy class) with a crew of four pilots and 12 attendants will ply the route.

An economy ticket to fly to NY direct aboard Kenya Airways starting October 28 will set you back Sh89,000.

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.

Kenya Airways becomes the first airline in the region to offer direct flights to the United States.

Kenya Airways's attempt to operate this route represents a new frontier for airline travel. From New-York it will depart at 1225 and land at JKIA at 1055 the following day. Its duration will be 15 hours eastbound and 14 hours westbound.

This convenient schedule will allow connections to and from over 40 African destinations through Kenya Airways hub in Nairobi.

The onboard service is renowned and the lie-flat business class seat on the wide-body aircraft is consistently voted among the world's top 10.

Kenya Airways planes are seen parked at the Jomo Kenyatta International airport near Kenya's capital Nairobi, April 28, 2016.

Between January and October 2017 over 95,000 tourists visited Kenya, a 20 percent increase in traffic every year for the past two years.

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