The 234-passenger plane has 30 lie-flat seats in business class. The flight from John F. Kennedy International Airport departs daily at noon and lands in Nairobi at 10:30 a.m. the following day. The Nairobi flight leaves at 11:25 p.m. and arrives in New York at 6:25 a.m. the following day.
William Ruto, the carrier’s deputy president, called the route a “game changer,” saying it repositions Kenya as a more accessible destination for the US market. According to the airline, traffic between the US and Kenya has grown 20 percent over the last two years, enabling the US to overtake the UK as Kenya’s top source market.
The airline was able to launch the flight only after Jomo Kenyatta Airport went through a long process to achieve Category 1 status for safety standards established by the International Civil Aviation Organization, a requirement for direct flights to the US.
by Dan Booth