NAIROBI, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) -- Kenya Airways on Thursday kick started the process of operationalizing direct flights to New York which will commence on Oct. 28.
Kenya Airways Group Managing Director Sebastian Mikosz told a media briefing in Nairobi that they will begin selling tickets for the inaugural flight on Thursday.
"This is an exciting moment for us. It fits within our strategy to attract corporate and high-end tourism traffic from the world to Kenya and Africa. We are honored to contribute to the economic growth of Kenya and East Africa," Mikosz said.
The national carrier has already fulfilled one of the three requirements by the United States government to operate non-stop flights to New York city. "We hope to complete the other tasks in the next ten months," he added.
Kenya Airways will become the first airline to offer a non-stop flight between East Africa and the United States of America. The airline already serves Africa, Europe, Middle-East, Indian sub-continent and Asia.
Kenya Airways flight will be the fastest connection from East Africa to New York, with 15 hours duration eastbound and 14 hours westbound and will be operated by a Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
Kenya Airways Chairman Michael Joseph said that the flights will symbolize the comeback for the airline that has been making losses for the past few years.
"But we expect the destination to contribute up to ten percent of all revenue in 2019," Joseph said. The national airline is currently in talks with U.S.-based Delta Airlines for a code sharing agreement in 2019 in order to expand its destinations in the U.S.