NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 24 – National Carrier Kenya Airways has applied for access to United States market, a day after Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) attained Category 1 status.
The move follows a final assessment audit by the US Federal Aviation Administration that granted Kenya the Category 1 status and is expected to see both Kenya Airways, and America’s Delta Airlines fly directly from Kenya to the US and vice versa.
Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia hopes that KQ will get the application approved in a month, paving way for direct flights to the United States.
“It depends how quickly the application is submitted and processed by the respective authorities. Likely scenario is one to three months range. Other airlines like Delta may get it quicker given that their initial application had been processed in 2009,” Macharia told Capital FM Business.
The move will see a huge increase in the number of tourists coming to the Kenyan market from the US which is now the number one source market for Kenya.
“Our first priority now is to pursue codeshare arrangements with our partners in the Skyteam Alliance. This will enable us to sell tickets to and from any US State and drive revenues directly to us”, said Kenya Airways’ Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Mbuvi Ngunze. “This process will take time but we will start immediately.”