, WASHINGTON, Mar 19 – Emirates, the world’s fastest growing airline, has announced that it would link Nairobi to Washington Dulles International Airport from September 12 this year, through its Dubai hub.
Emirates will operate a Boeing 777-300ER aircraft on its DC route, providing eight private suites in First Class, 42 lie-flat beds in Business Class and 304 seats in Economy Class.
“As Emirates’ seventh US gateway and our third new American route to launch in 2012, Washington, DC is a significant next step as we continue to expand our services across the country,” said Essa Ahmad Sulaiman, Emirates Regional Manager for East Africa.
He continued: “This new route will provide further impetus to the vibrant trade relationship between Kenya and the United States, boosting exports and imports and increasing opportunities for business, industry and tourism.”
According to the Kenya Tourism Board the top five source markets for Kenya in 2011 were U.K. with 203,290, U.S. with 119,615, Italy with 96,360, Germany with 68,737 and India with 58,986.
Estimated tourism receipts in 2011 closed at Sh97.9 billion, an increase of 32.9 percent compared to the Sh73.7 billion from 2010.
Reports from US Embassy in Nairobi indicate that Kenya is currently the 102nd largest goods trading partner with the United States valued at $674 million in total. U.S. goods exports to Kenya in 2010 reached USD363 million with the main export commodities including aircraft, machinery, milling, malt, starch, electrical machinery, and special other (low value shipments and repaired products). Kenya’s export to the US mainly constituted knit apparel, woven apparel, spices, coffee, tea, fruit, and edible nuts.
Starting September 12, EK 231 will leave Dubai daily at 2:20 am and arrive at Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) at 08:50am. EK 232 will depart Dulles at 10:55 am arriving in Dubai at 8:00 am the following day.
Customers travelling to and from the United States can also benefit from Emirates’ partnerships with Jet Blue, American Airlines, Virgin America and Alaska Airlines. Passengers connecting on to Emirates’ services from these airlines enjoy a range of advantages, including one-stop check in and checked through baggage.
Emirates’ network now encompasses 122 cities globally, with 22 destinations in Africa, 17 in the Middle East and 18 in the Far East and Australasia. The airline also operates over 200 flights each week to the Indian Subcontinent and Pakistan. Emirates’ flights to Dubai provide conveniently timed connections to an extensive range of onward destinations, with Bangkok, Delhi, Manila, Johannesburg, Dar es Salaam, Nairobi, Mumbai and Bangalore all connecting in under four hours.
Winner of over 500 international awards, Emirates’ unique service offering includes complimentary chauffeur-driven airport transfers for premium customers, privacy suites in First Class, and an inflight entertainment system featuring over 1,200 channels of new release Hollywood movies, TV, music and games.
With a fleet of 170 aircraft, Emirates now flies to 122 destinations, having recently launched services to Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Dublin, Seattle, Dallas/Fort Worth, Lusaka and Harare. Flights to Ho Chi Minh City start on June 4 and Barcelona and Lisbon will join the Emirates’ network on July 3 and July 9 respectively.