NAIROBI, KENYA: Kenya Airways will from next year scale down its daily flights between Nairobi to New York from seven times a week to five, company’s chief executive officer said.
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The airline Chief Executive Officer Sebastian Mikosz said the decision was informed by IATA winter schedule and not low passenger volume in the new route.
“We see that the pattern of seasonality is stronger than we assumed, so we say why don’t we introduce seasonality as we did in Paris flight, Amsterdam and Bangkok when we introduced the routes,” he said adding that the decision is not in any way linked to low passenger volume.
“Starting from end of January next year, we will operate five times weekly and monitor how market evolves until May, June and then upon decision shift back to the daily routine, “he added in an interview with a local TV station.
The frequency adjustment decision was made as part of the airline’s routine operation review based on seasonality as it looks to ensure that travel demands are met.
In a statement, Kenya Airways CEO Sebastian Mikosz stated that while the decision to adjust frequency is a strategic business decision, the airline remains strongly committed to the New York route and will continue to offer non-stop services to all its guests travelling between the two cities.
“This route remains significant to us because of the role it plays in opening more economic and tourism growth opportunities for Kenya and East Africa. The decision to adjust our schedule is to cater for seasonality in line with global practices that allows airlines to reduce or add frequencies based on low or high seasons. We will evaluate the option of reverting back to daily flights for this route next summer as we have been doing for our Paris and Amsterdam flights,” said Sebastian.
The non-stop flight to New York commenced on October 28 with a daily operation.
The airline is counting on the tourism, with the US being a key source market of vacationers, as well as opportunities to Kenyan businesses accorded by the African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) to sustain the flights.
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The national carrier made lots of emphasis on the route, including key contribution to its bottom line, which it said could shore up its revenues by 10 per cent starting 2019 and aid the airline back to profitability.