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Kenya to know the fate of its US direct flights before Christmas

Kenya has applied twice to offer direct flights to US and failed and hopes its third time lucky charm will finally kick in this time round.

Kenya is set to know its fate on the direct flights to the US before Christmas following completion of the final audit by an American transport agency.

Transport secretary James Macharia on Monday said the results of the audit of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) as the last point of departure would be out before the end of the year.

“The results of this audit will be out in six weeks’ time and we expect to have performed well,” said Mr Macharia in a news conference.

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Officials from US Transportation Security Administration were in the country two weeks ago for a four-day audit of the facility.

The audit was the second and final one that will determine whether US feels JKIA is ready and equipped enough to offer direct flights between Kenya and the US.

Kenya has applied twice to offer direct flights to US and failed and hopes its third time lucky charm will finally kick in this time round.

So far, the country has been granted two of the required four conditions to commence direct US flights.

The first one was in February when the country got a Category One status with the second one being the commercial authority to operate, which was granted to Kenya Airways recently.

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Kenya's national carrier was voted Africa’s leading airline during the World Travel Awards 2017.

If everything goes as planned, American and Kenyans for the first time in decades will be able to enjoy direct flights to each other’s countries.

Kenya is optimistic about the final verdict and Mr. Macharia says they are looking at June next year as a possible commencement date for direct flights between the two states.

Direct flights would help Kenya’s ailing tourism sector and also attract investors to East Africa’s largest economy.

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