NAIROBI, June 6 (Xinhua) -- Preparations for the creation of direct flights between Kenya and the U.S. are on course, a Kenyan official said on Monday.
The Ministry of Tourism Cabinet Secretary, Najib Balala, told journalists in Nairobi that the process should have been completed already but unfortunately there were too many bureaucratic steps involved.
"There are only two requirements that Kenya must fulfill before the flights can occur. One of the them is changes to the law governing civil aviation," Balala said.
He said draft amendments to the law had been approved by cabinet approval. "We will soon table the bill into parliament where it should be endorsed as a matter of priority."
"Immediately these changes are effective, I am optimistic we will have direct flights between the U.S. and Kenya," he said.
Another requirement is a security upgrade of the country's main airport, which the official said had already been completed.
Balala said many airlines in both Kenya and U.S. were interested in operating along the route. "U.S. based Delta Airlines wants to come to Kenya as soon as today," he said.
"I have also held meetings with Kenya Airways which is just waiting for approvals," he added.
Balala said that Kenya's national carrier planned to operate non-stop between Nairobi and New York as there had been demand for cargo and passenger traffic between the two cities.
Balala expects the direct flights to boost Kenya's tourism industry.