KQ to begin direct flights to the US next year

National carrier is awaiting a security audit from the US before getting go-ahead to commence the flights.

National airline Kenya Airways is one step away from beginning direct flights to the US as from April 2018.

The carrier is awaiting a security audit of the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in October from the US Transportation Security Administration to determine if Kenya has put in place the necessary security measures to guarantee direct flights between the two countries.

If the audit is successful, JKIA will receive the Last Point of Departure status that will allow flights from Nairobi to fly directly to the US.

Equally, KQ is also working on code-sharing agreements with an American airline, which is expected to come into place October this year.

Transport cabinet secretary James Macharia on Tuesday said the officials from the US department had confirmed the new audit date after they postponed it from this month.

The audit had earlier been delayed with the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority stating that it had been postponed until after the August 8 elections.

The CS said that Kenya Airways applied for the Air Service Licence and Air Operation Licence to the US authorities and the application is under process.

Kenya has been moving with haste in order to attain the Category one status with plans to expand the airport already underway.

JKIA was granted the Category One status following several audit processes by the US air agency Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that saw Kenya fail to meet a number of reviews; whose earlier commencement date was slated for August 2016.

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