Direct flights to the United States to create more jobs at JKIA

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Kenya Airways chief executive Sebastian Mikosz (centre) speaks during the launch of non-stop flight between Nairobi and NY.

On Thursday, Kenya Airways began selling tickets for its new flight from its main hub in Nairobi to New York's John F. Kennedy Airport.

Kenya Airways flight will be the fastest connection from East Africa to NY, with 15 hours duration eastbound and 14 hours westbound and will be operated by a Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

He said the flights will see Kenya Airways employ more pilots and more crew to facilitate the functionality of the new flight route launched.

The national carrier said it expected the flights between Nairobi's Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) and New York's JFK Airport to play a critical role in returning it profit making territory.

According to an official release, it is first airline company to operate a direct non-stop flight between East Africa and the USA.

"This ultra-long haul flight requires ultra-resources and we are providing the best for our guests", Mikosz said.

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"The flights will be the fastest connection from East Africa to NY, with 15 hours duration eastbound and 14 hours westbound". From New York, flights will depart at 12:25 pm to land in Nairobi at 10.55 am, the following day. Its duration will be 15 hours eastbound and 14 hours westbound.

This marks a major milestone for the airline and the country that has been seeking direct market access to the U.S. for over a decade.

Jim Holden, president of Holden Safaris, said, "Safaris in Kenya are very competitively priced, and now with direct flight connections, the destination offers an even more attractive safari package".

The Dreamliners have capacity to carry 234 total passengers, 30 in premier world and 204 in economy class.

It is anticipated that the new form of easier travel to the USA will directly impact Kenya's economy through direct and indirect employment, as well as boosting trade between the two nations.

The chief executive noted the U.S. is Kenya's top tourist source market, with 95,771 people having visited between January and Oct 2017.

Kenya Airways was is 2017 named Africa's Leading Airline of the year at the World Travel Awards gala ceremony held in Kigali, Rwanda.

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