President Uhuru Kenyatta is in the US for the UN General Assembly where he is expected to meet different leaders and address the assembly.
Uhuru kicked of his tour by holding a meeting at a dinner organized by Kenya Airways at the Rockefeller Plaza, New York City. The national carrier is planning for its inaugural direct flight to US scheduled for October 28 this year. The President hailed KQ for the achievement terming it as a noble milestone.
“On behalf of Kenyan people thank the United States Government for working closely with us to make this realization,” said Uhuru.
The president called upon investors and travel operators to take advantage of the opportunity presented by the direct flights from Kenya to US to boost American investments in Kenya while urging the Kenyan diaspora not to be left behind as well.
The direct flights are expected to boost tourism and attract more investors hence improving bilateral relations between the two nations.
The US is Kenya’s largest source of tourists and with the introduction of the direct flight to New York from Nairobi, Kenya aims at doubling the number of visitors from America. President Kenyatta thanked the US Government for its continued support and granting Kenya Airways an opportunity to be part of the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) initiative.
“The program will provide an on-site training and technical assistance on customs administration and border control agencies that will handle Kenya Airways direct operations to the United States,” said President Kenyatta.
He went ahead to challenge KQ to scale up its operations so that it can achieve its vision as the airline of choice in the market reiterating the fact that his government has invested in the aviation industry by attaining the International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) for Category I status. This certification allows direct flights to the US by local airlines.
“To achieve this vision, I encourage Kenya airways to scale up its services and become the airline of choice in a very competitive industry. My administration has given you a strong platform to excel,” Uhuru said.
The direct flight to the US will be the fast in the East African region offering the fastest connection with a duration of 15 hours eastbound and 14 hours westbound.