Kenya's direct flight to US to create hundreds of jobs and boost KQ's revenues by at least 10 per cent
At 15 hours westbound and 14 hours eastbound the flight is also the fastest non-stop connection between East Africa and the United States.
According to Kenya Airways CEO Sebastian Mikosz, the route will generate direct and indirect jobs through its suppliers and the airline expects to hire hundreds of Kenyans to serve the new daily route to the United States.
“First of all [the direct flight] is going to create more jobs in Kenya Airways because we will definitely hire more pilots and more crew. That is going to be in the range of 150 people, just on a rough basis,” said Mr Mikosz on Thursday.
Kenya Airways Boeing 787-8 – Dreamliner is scheduled to make the maiden trip and each flight will be manned by a crew of four pilots and 12 flight attendants.
Apart from creating jobs for Kenyans, directs flights to US will also come with economic tidings for the company.
Mr Mikosz said he expects the direct flights will boost KQ revenues by at least 10 per cent in the 2019 financial year.
Although not the cheapest way to travel between Kenya at the United States, Kenya Airways Nairobi to New York flight is the only non-stop connection between East Africa and the United States.
At 15 hours westbound and 14 hours eastbound the flight is also the fastest keeping in mind most tickets for similarly-priced non-direct flights from Nairobi to New York take an average 20-hours in the air each way, with stop-overs in the Middle East and Europe that can stretch a journey for up to two days.
Kenya Airways will put up 85,000 seats for sale on the route, and expects a load factor of between 75 and 80 per cent in the first year. After this, the American route ought to perform similarly to European routes where KQ records load factors of about 87 per cent.
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Tourists and business travellers coming to Kenya and the larger East Africa region will fill up these seats.
The flights are expected to further boost tourism and trade between the two countries.
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