Uhuru to fly aboard KQ on maiden direct trip to US
Published on: August 04, 2018 11:31 (EAT)
Plans are underway for President Uhuru Kenyatta to charter a Kenya Airways (KQ) flight to New York in United States to attend the 73rd United Nations General Assembly scheduled to open on the September 18. Officials from the USA Federal Aviation administration are currently in the country to train Kenya Airways and Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) staff. This even as the national carrier awaits for clearance of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) as the last point of departure for its planned direct flights to New York city in October. Citizen Digital has however learnt that the direct flight that had been scheduled for October may not be the first for Kenya Airways. After a significant improvement of the country’s aviation safety standard last month by 12 percent to 78 percent, following an audit conducted by the International Civil Aviation Organisation( ICAO), preparations for KQ direct flights to the United States have gained momentum. “My expectation will be that by the end of August we will have all the administrative papers issues. When we looked at how it was done for all the other airlines, most of the official documents arrive few weeks before its launch,” said Sebastian Mikosz, KQ CEO. “The authorities are checking the consistency so they just moved some of their staff from the U.S here to overlook and be with us during the last 90 days before the flight operates and stay with us for a few months when the flight is operating so we can transfer the knowledge,” he added. The training will include the use of new scanners in addition to what is already available at the airport in a bid to beef up security at the airport. “Its a very big logistical operation particularly that no carrier from Kenya is operating directly to the U.S so we are setting a precedence in the region so there is a lot of attention also from the U.S side,” said Mikosz. With the booking window now open, Mikosz says KQ has intensified its marketing of the direct flights to the U.S. The KQ Chief executive however remains cautious even as he expresses his hopes that the maiden flight will be successful.