National carrier Kenya Airways, also known as The Pride of Africa has, again, posted losses in billions of shillings. In its nine-month financial reporting for April to December 2017 announced last month, the company posted Sh6.1 Billion loss, having carried 3.4 million passengers in the period.
Kenya Airways blamed the loss on fuel costs and the prolonged elections. That aside, the airline had earlier announced her plans to start direct flight from Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to JFK Airport in New York USA with estimated cut on travel time from approximately 25 hours to some 15 hours.
With the direct flight, Kenya Airways joins a list of several African airlines that fly to the USA. This is a move the airline says will attract tourists to Kenya and also offer direct routes to the many American multi-national companies that have set up offices in Nairobi like Intel, Honeywell, AIG, Cisco, Microsoft, Coca Cola, Rockerfeller Foundation among others. The acceptance of direct flights into JKIA has also been hailed as a show of confidence by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on the safety standards at the Nairobi facility.
On route to JFK from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, the national carrier intends to use the Dreamliner B787-8 which will offer comfort and a sound flight as it is considered one of the latest and most fuel efficient plane. Other African national carriers that fly direct to the USA include;
They operate a daily scheduled flight from Cairo, the capital city of Egypt to the JFK airport in New York. The flight is estimated to be around eleven hours.
South African Airways
The airline operates to two American cities daily. The first is a direct flight from Johannesburg to JFK Airport in New York that takes roughly seventeen hours while the other is to Washington DC. The flight to Washington DC has a 1 hour stop in Dakar Senegal. While Delta Airlines (American) flies direct Johannesburg from Atlanta in the USA.
Royal Air Moroc
The Moroccan airline operates daily flights from Casablanca to JFK Airport in New York too. This flight is estimated to take around eight hours.
Direct flight to Ghana
Both Delta Airlines and United Airlines have direct flights to Accra Ghana both operating from Atlanta and JFK airport in New York. The estimated flight times for these flights are twelve hours and ten and a half hours for the flight by United Airlines which comes from Washington DC to Accra.
Flight to Senegal from USA
South African Airways has a nine hour direct flight from Washington DC to Dakar the capital Senegal. Delta Airlines too has another flight from JFK to Dakar that roughly takes eight and a half hours.
Flights to Ethiopia
Ethiopian Airlines, Africa’s most profitable and modernized airline operates four weekly flights from Washington DC to Addis Ababa. The flights depart daily during the summer months
Flights to Nigeria
Nigerian based Arik Air operates three weekly flights between Lagos Nigeria and JFK Airport in New York. United Airlines also operates a direct flight from Houston to Lagos.
It is evident from above that several African airlines fly direct to the USA and the entry of Kenya Airways will increases this number. Noteworthy is that American airlines, Delta and United Airlines flying into Africa and thus this increases the level of competition. Kenya Airways must labour to offer comfort, reliability and affordability to win over clients. For an airline that has in the past been characterized by staff industrial actions that lead into delayed flights, these kinds of inconveniences cannot be tolerated..