Tickets for the inaugural Kenya Airways flight from Nairobi to New York have already been sold out with one week remaining before the national carrier flies to the US.
An attempt to make a booking for the trip on KQ’s website yesterday indicated that the next available flight on the route will be on Monday next week, signaling how enthusiastic travellers are to get on the historical trip.
Through its website KQ said that fraction of the 335 seats available on the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner have been reserved for a government entourage led by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
An advance team, led by directors of the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority, will on Tuesday depart to New York to prepare to receive the flight.
After a decade of trying to implement tough conditions set by the US, Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia says he cannot wait for the opportunities the direct flights will bring to the country.
“As Kenya opens up to the world, I would like to encourage Kenyans to travel and explore the opportunities the world has to offer,” he said.
“Direct flights to the US will enhance JKIA as a regional hub airport and as the key gateway into East and Central Africa. We expect the number of transit passengers to increase. In recognition of this, we will soon be embarking on the rehabilitation of Terminals B, C and D,” he said.
The long-haul flights will last 15 hours, representing a seven-hour reduction from the current flight time of over 22 hours, including stopovers.
The KQ flight between Nairobi and New York is the 25th longest flight in the world.
Singapore Airlines, which two weeks ago launched a 19- hour flight between Singapore and New York, currently holds the record of the world’s longest flight.