East Africa anticipates benefits from Kenya-US direct flights

Kenya’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) has achieved the Category One status that will allow for direct flights between Kenya and the US, bringing to an end the long search for express connection between the two countries.

Officials from governments in East Africa and aviation companies operating in the region have welcomed the development, saying it will enhance trade, tourism and customer satisfaction.

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has granted Nairobi the top status after carrying out a series of assessment audits in the country.

Direct flights to the US will significantly reduce the time taken to move cargo between the US and East Africa — from seven days to as little as a day.

“If the US allows Kenya’s bid to have direct flights then we will save up to 20 per cent on our cargo operation cost,” Astral Aviation chief executive officer Sunjeev Gadhia said.

“Flower and other horticultural produce are perishable commodities and having to go all the way to Europe then USA, reduces their quality by the time it gets to its final destination,” Jared Oswago, the divisional manager at Siginon Aviation said.

Read more at Africanews (Daniel Mumbere)

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