Kenya Airways has announced its plans to introduce daily flights on the Nairobi–New York route, starting from December 1.
This strategic move is aimed at tapping into the surging travel demand during the upcoming festive season, marking a significant milestone for the airline.
This announcement comes as Kenya Airways commemorates five years since it became the first and only carrier to operate non-stop flights between its Nairobi hub and New York, effectively bridging the gap between East Africa and the United States of America.
The inaugural flight took off on October 28, 2018, and since then, the airline has facilitated the seamless travel of more than 300,000 passengers and transported over 6,000 tonnes of cargo through 1,700 flights on this crucial route.
Allan Kilavuka, the Group Managing Director and CEO of Kenya Airways emphasized the importance of daily flights on this route, stating, "It serves as the fastest and most vital connection for our guests within the travel and tourism industry, the business community, and governments of both countries."
He expressed enthusiasm about the prospect of providing convenient onward connections for travellers to various destinations in both Africa and the United States while actively contributing to the socio-economic development of Kenya and the broader African continent.
The Nairobi–New York route plays a vital role in the economic and social growth of East Africa, acting as a gateway to the United States and the wider North American region.
This strategic connection facilitates trade, education, medical services, sports, and leisure travel.
Kenya Airways acknowledges that the route has opened doors for tourism, trade, and investments in East Africa, solidifying its significance in the region's development.
Notably, the United States stands as one of Kenya's top export markets outside the East African Community.
According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), the US ranks as the third-largest destination for Kenyan goods in the first eight months of this year.
Although Pakistan has emerged as the largest destination for Kenya's goods, with a notable 19.29 per cent increase in orders, the US market remains a critical export destination, with orders worth $285.6 million (Sh42.89 billion) during the review period.
Furthermore, the United States holds a significant position as a key source market for Kenyan tourism, with over 200,000 visitors from the United States arriving in Kenya last year.
This not only enhances Kenya's reputation as a preferred tourist destination but also fosters cultural exchange and economic growth between the two nations.
Kenya Airways' decision to introduce daily flights on the Nairobi–New York route represents a significant step in enhancing global connectivity and strengthening the economic ties between East Africa and the United States.
As the festive season approaches, this expansion promises to meet the growing demand for travel while fostering economic development and cultural exchange.