Tickets sell out a week to Kenya Airways' inaugural flight to New York
By Vincent Achuka | October 21st 2018
Tickets for the inaugural Kenya Airways flight from Nairobi to New York have already been sold out with one week remaining before the national carrier flies to the US.
An attempt to make a booking for the trip on KQ’s website yesterday indicated that the next available flight on the route will be on Monday next week, signaling how enthusiastic travellers are to get on the historical trip.
It is however worth noting that a fraction of the 335 seats available on the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, that will depart from the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) next Sunday, have been reserved for a government entourage led by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
An advance team, led by directors of the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority, will on Tuesday depart to New York to prepare to receive the flight.
After a decade of trying to implement tough conditions set by the US, Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia says he cannot wait for the opportunities the direct flights will bring to the country.
“As Kenya opens up to the world, I would like to encourage Kenyans to travel and explore the opportunities the world has to offer,” he said.
“Direct flights to the US will enhance JKIA as a regional hub airport and as the key gateway into East and Central Africa. We expect the number of transit passengers to increase. In recognition of this, we will soon be embarking on the rehabilitation of Terminals B, C and D,” he said.
With air tickets starting from Sh96,910, Kenya Airways is not only set to offer lower fares than other carriers flying from Africa to the US but also offer one of the shortest times between the two continents.
The long-haul flights will last 15 hours, representing a seven-hour reduction from the current flight time of over 22 hours, including stopovers.
The KQ flight between Nairobi and New York is the 25th longest flight in the world. Singapore Airlines, which two weeks ago launched a 19- hour flight between Singapore and New York, currently holds the record of the world’s longest flight.
On Friday, State House awarded two innovators free tickets for the maiden flight due to their creativity in creating solutions for problems that fall in the Big 4 agenda.
Shirlene Nafula, 26, who is a University of Nairobi Bachelor of Science in Microbiology and Biotechnology graduate, is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Crystal River Products which manufactures bio-based beauty and hygiene products.
Evans Odongo, also 26, is the brain behind a solar-powered LED lantern called Mwanga Bora which is fast replacing kerosene lamps in rural Kenya.
It is hoped that the direct flights will help to turn around the fortunes of national carrier which narrowed its losses to Sh4 billion in the financial year ended June 2018 from Sh5.6 billion loss reported in 2017.
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