NAIROBI—Kenya Airways’ maiden direct flight to the US has landed at the John F Kennedy International Airport (JKF) shortly after 2pm on Monday.
Speaking at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) during the flagging of the flight, President Uhuru Kenyatta noted that the direct flights from Nairobi to New York will open up Kenya to the rest of the world.
“It is historic for Kenya’s aviation sector to witness the inaugural direct flight between Nairobi and New York finally take off. The direct air link between our country and the US present great opportunities in trade, tourism and people-to-people relations,” read his twitter account.
The Kenya Airways (KQ) Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner carrying 234 passengers, left the JKIA at exactly 11.20pm on Sunday, although it had been scheduled to leave at 10.45pm.
Upon landing at the JKF International Airport, the KQ plane received a water salute to mark the new airline service.
Kenya Airways is the first airline to offer a non-stop flight between East Africa and the US.
Normal flights from Kenya to the US take up to 22 hours for the 11,849km between Nairobi and New York. The historic flight cuts up to seven hours off the lengthy journey
Among the passengers on the maiden flight were Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amb. Monica Juma and US Ambassador Robert Godec.
“Wheels down! Smooth landing with Kenya Airways after an amazing inaugural flight from Nairobi. Airplanes carry people and people bring their ideas, energy and creativity! Together the future is bright!” said Ambassador Godec.