NAIROBI/NEW YORK. – The maiden Kenya Airways direct flight from Nairobi to New York ended at about 2.51pm on Monday afternoon, with a touchdown at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK).
The Kenya Airways (KQ) Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner left the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) for the US in a historic flight in Kenya’s aviation industry.
The plane left the airport at exactly 11.20pm on Sunday, although it had been scheduled to leave at 10.45pm.
Normal flights from Kenya to the US take up to 22 hours, for the 11,849km distance between Nairobi and New York.
Speaking shortly before the departure, President Uhuru Kenyatta noted that the direct flights 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,” he wrote on Twitter.
Kenya Airways is the first airline to offer a non-stop flight between East Africa and the US.
The airline already serves Africa, Europe, Middle-East, the Indian sub-continent and Asia.
The national carrier shared a video of the landing at the JFK on Twitter, with a welcome by way of the traditional water salute.
Via the social media platform, members of the public congratulated the airline, Chief Executive Officer Sebastian Mikosz and Captain Joseph Kinuthia who flew the plane.
Mikosz and KQ chairman Michael Joseph thanked the president for supporting the airline.
US ambassador Robert Godec said, “Wheels down! Smooth landing with after an amazing inaugural flight from Nairobi. Airplanes carry people and people bring their ideas, energy and creativity! Together the future is bright!” .The Herald.