A historic flight in Kenya’s aviation industry sets off

Following Kenya’s approval for Category One status by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in April 2017, Kenya Airways Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner has eventually set off from the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) to New York City, United States of America, a historic flight that is happening in Kenya’s aviation industry for the first time.

This direct flight was scheduled to initiate at 10:45pm but the plane left the airport at exactly 11:20pm, local time and it is expected to touch down at the John F Kennedy International airport on Monday at 13:25hrs, cutting off seven hours from the long flights that used to involve long stopovers in Europe or the Middle East. With the direct flight covering about 11,849 km, the flight time will drop from 22 to 15 hours making it shorter, quicker and cheaper. KQ joins Singapore Airlines, which recently also launched an inaugural 19-hour non-stop flight from Singapore to New York on a new Airbus A350-900.

Kenya will join the elite global airlines with a landing slot at the prestigious JFK Airport as the 5th Sub-Saharan African country to fly directly to the US after South Africa, Ethiopia, Ghana and Nigeria. Cape Verde also flies directly to the US.

Top government officials led by His Excellency the President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta arrived at the airport to flag off the inaugural direct flight and the Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma led the government delegation aboard the KQ plane.

This historic event was graced by several choir groups which entertained guests before the plane set off and security was tight at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport throughout Sunday evening to make sure no chaos happened.