Kenya Airways has launched its first non-stop service between JFK New York and JKIA–Nairobi, making it the first airline to offer a non-stop flight between East Africa and the US.
The airline already serves Africa, Europe, Middle-East, Indian sub-continent and Asia. The opening of the US destination completes an “essential piece” for Kenya Airways’ network.
To mark the inaugural flight, an unexpected ‘passenger,’ Louie Yaraghi – a 3.5 month old Goldendoodle puppy, made the journey, thanks to the joint efforts of Kenya Airways, Avia Cargo and The ARK at JFK’s Pet Oasis.
Louie was bred in Alabama and was being transported to his owner in Kenya.
The owner’s relatives dropped Louie off at The ARK (JFK) the night before his flight so that he had a good rest, early breakfast and was prepared for his journey to Africa.
He was loaded and secured in the aircraft’s temperature controlled and pressurised cargo hold where he rested for the trip.
The doors opened in Nairobi, and Louie was brought for veterinary inspection by the Kenyan officials.
His owner said: “I would really love to tell how amazing Kenya Airways was and how well taken care of Louie was. I could not believe how happy, clean and excited he was getting off a 15 hour flight.
“It not only makes me want to tell the world to trust how amazing Kenya Airways is, but makes me confident to take Kenya airways to JFK myself instead of any other airline. Thank you again for all the help and for making me feel comfortable and confident.”
Katrina Hanson, Kenya Airways cargo manager for US, commented: “With over 40 American multinational organisations located in Nairobi and many more across Africa, the launch of our service will open up a new export trade route between America and Africa.
“Kenya Airways will offer its cargo customers a fast connection from East Africa to New York (and vice versa), with a 15 hour duration eastbound and 14 hour westbound. The route is operated with a modern Boeing 787 Dreamliners with a cargo capacity of 8 tonnes. A Convenient overnight schedule will allow connections to all our 40 African destinations through our Kenya Airways hub in Nairobi”.
Michael Cox, Avia Cargo, GSA for Kenya Airways US, said: “We are delighted to be able to promote Kenya Airways new direct service which will open new cargo gateways, and reduce transit times, from US to the amazing continent of Africa”