Friday, 8 June 2018

KENYA: Kenya Airways To Fly 10 Times A Week On Non-stop Flights To Cape Town And Commence Daily Flights To New York In October

Kenya Airways (KQ) will fly to Cape Town 10 times weekly following the introduction of direct flights to the South African city on Wednesday.

The three non-stop flights will depart Nairobi every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday as the carrier stretches its wings to capture the African market.

We are indeed very proud to increase our frequencies to South Africa to cater for the growing number of our customers who travel between Nairobi and Cape Town.

In addition to enhancing Africa integration, this new route will be beneficial to the tourism industry as it establishes vital links with our global network, said Kenya Airways Chief Commercial Officer Vincent Coste.

The national carrier began flying the Cape Town route via Livingstone in 2016, with seven weekly flights to the South African capital. This in addition to the three non-stop flights brings the tally to 10.

The carrier is set to have its maiden flights to New York as well as introduction of direct flights to Mauritius.

The carrier already has a pre-existing code sharing agreement with Air Mauritius, which flies between Port Louis and Nairobi.

This will mean that passengers from Kenya will from June have the option of flying daily to Mauritius.

KQ flies to 42 African destinations out of a total 51 globally.

Kenya Airways is set to commence daily flights between Nairobi and New York in October, marking a milestone for the national carrier that will cut the flight time between the two cities by more than seven hours.

Travellers have begun booking advance tickets for the airline’s maiden flight to the John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK).

Kenya Airways has already secured a landing slot at JFK.

The trans-Atlantic flights, scheduled to depart Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) at 10:30pm every day, will last 15 hours.

This is a reduction from the current flight time of over 22 hours, including lengthy layovers.

We are currently loading the flights onto our system. We shall go live and ready for bookings on Thursday, says Kenya Airways chairman Michael Joseph in a telephone interview.

The launch of direct flights between Kenya and the United States will mark a significant milestone for the business and for the country.

Passengers travelling to JFK will arrive at 6.30 a.m., in time for morning meetings, while the return flight from JKF will depart at 1.30 p.m. and arrive in Nairobi at 10.30 a.m. the next day.

Each trip will have a maximum of 234 passengers, 204 in Economy and the rest in Business Class of the national carrier’s Dreamliner aircraft.

Kenya Airways, known in short as KQ, had announced its preference to operate the flights through a code-share partnership with US carrier Delta Airlines, its SkyTeam partner.

Delta, Virgin Atlantic and KLM Air France are KQ joint venture partner and shareholder are, however, currently working out a time-consuming merger, which has seen KQ opt to go it alone for now.

When this merger is over, we may add another flight to the US with a connecting flight through West Africa, said Mr Joseph.

The government, KQ’s top shareholder, has recently stepped up its campaign to actualise direct flights to America, with the Uhuru Kenyatta administration anticipating it will boost exports to the US and help jumpstart the tourism sector.

With about 100,000 tourists visiting Kenya every year for leisure and business, the US remains the top source of visitors into Kenya from the Americas, according to Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) data

Imports from the US stood at Sh47.8 billion in 2016, mostly consisting of machinery and equipment while exports, mostly garments and apparels, stood at Sh43.4 billion.

Kenya has recently implemented a raft of recommendations by the US government to enhance security, among them separation of passenger arrival and departure terminals, clearing the flight path and fencing off the airport.

As a result, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) last February gave Kenya the Category One rating, paving the way for direct flights subject to other permits being received by the airport and KQ.

Mr Joseph now says the airline has secured all but two permits required for it to fly to the US, a position the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) director-general, Gilbert Kibe, confirmed.

JFK is yet to be cleared as the last point of departure, a security-based permit to be issued by the US Transportation Security Administration, said Mr Kibe.

The other outstanding permit is the technical authority to operate from the FAA. I am confident that KQ will receive the two in time.

Mr Joseph, who also exuded optimism about securing the twin clearances, said it was standard airline practice to put ticket up for sale at the closing preparatory stages of entering a new market.

JKIA’s longstanding second-class status forced passengers flying from Kenya to the US to transit through Europe, the Middle East or the four African countries, South Africa, Ethiopia, Cape Verde, and Nigeria whose airports have the designation.

Airlines plying the JKIA and JFK route include Turkish Airlines (through Istanbul), Qatar Airways (through Doha) and British Airways (through Heathrow), KLM (through Amsterdam) and Emirates (through Dubai and/or Italy).

Ethiopian Airlines and South African Airways also have flights to the US while RwandAir hopes to commence such flights later this year.

KQ’s foray into the US comes at a time when the airline is facing an uphill task to turnaround its fortunes, with a recent restructuring of its balance sheet seen as the last chance.

The airline’s management, which recently announced a Sh3.8 billion half-year net loss for the business, hopes that the new route will help boost the their flat revenues.

Imports from the US stood at Sh47.8 billion in 2016, mostly consisting of machinery and equipment while exports, mostly garments and apparels, stood at Sh43.4 billion.

Kenya has recently implemented a raft of recommendations by the US government to enhance security, among them separation of passenger arrival and departure terminals, clearing the flight path and fencing off the airport.

As a result, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) last February gave Kenya the Category One rating, paving the way for direct flights subject to other permits being received by the airport and KQ.

Mr Joseph now says the airline has secured all but two permits required for it to fly to the US, a position the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) director-general, Gilbert Kibe, confirmed.

JFK is yet to be cleared as the last point of departure, a security-based permit to be issued by the US Transportation Security Administration, said Mr Kibe.

“The other outstanding permit is the technical authority to operate from the FAA. I am confident that KQ will receive the two in time.”

Optimistic

Mr Joseph, who also exuded optimism about securing the twin clearances, said it was standard airline practice to put ticket up for sale at the closing preparatory stages of entering a new market.

JKIA’s longstanding second-class status forced passengers flying from Kenya to the US to transit through Europe, the Middle East or the four African countries — South Africa, Ethiopia, Cape Verde, and Nigeria — whose airports have the designation.

Airlines plying the JKIA and JFK route include Turkish Airlines (through Istanbul), Qatar Airways (through Doha) and British Airways (through Heathrow), KLM (through Amsterdam) and Emirates (through Dubai and/or Italy).

Ethiopian Airlines and South African Airways also have flights to the US while RwandAir hopes to commence such flights later this year.

KQ’s foray into the US comes at a time when the airline is facing an uphill task to turnaround its fortunes, with a recent restructuring of its balance sheet seen as the last chance.

The airline’s management, which recently announced a Sh3.8 billion half-year net loss for the business, hopes that the new route will help boost the their flat revenues.

Kenya Airways' destinations outside Africa are:

- Guangzhou, China

- Paris, France

- Hong Kong, China

- Mumbai, India

- Amsterdam, Netherlands

- Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

- Bangkok, Thailand

- London, United Kingdom

- Hanoi, Vietnam

- Dubai, UAE

Kenya Airways (KQ) has been feted as Africa’s leading airline at the 24th Annual World Travel Awards held in Kigali, Rwanda.

This is the second consecutive year the national carrier has won the coveted title, beating other nominees including South African Airways, RwandAir, EgyptAir and Royal Air Maroc.

KQ was also named the winner in the Business Class category for the fifth consecutive year, while Ethiopian Airlines bagged the award in the Economy Class category - winning it for the fifth year in a row.

Winning these awards would not have been possible without the passion and dedication of the Kenya Airways team and the strong support from our guests.

Our guests are at the heart of everything we do at the airline and these two awards confirm our undeterred commitment to them, said KQ boss Sebastian Mikosz in a statement Wednesday.

Ethiopian Airlines was feted as Africa's leading airline brand, coming out tops in the category against Kenya Airways, South African Airways, RwandAir, EgyptAir, Tunisair and Royal Air Maroc.

Cape Town International Airport in South Africa was named the region's leading hub while Diani Beach in Kenya was named as Africa's leading beach destination.

The World Travel Awards serve to recognise, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the global travel and tourism industry within each key geographical region.

Last year's ceremony was held in Zanzibar, Tanzania.


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