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The making of Kenya Airways nonstop flight to New York

October 28, 2018
Lavender Amunga
for Chams Media Digital

This has been the major talk in town; the major development that has just landed in Kenya today. From 2 days with five stop overs in the 60s to 15 hours non-stop; what does this mean for Kenya?

Today, the Chamwada Report focuses on what the Kenya Airways nonstop flight from Kenya to New York means to us as a country.

It was in 1960, mid-September when Fredrick Okacha at the age of 22 who is now a Psychology professor, flew to New York on the JF Kennedy cum Tom Mboya Scholarship airlift.

"We arrived in New York after 2 days at around midnight,” he says. Through the eyes of the 80 year old professor, one can get a feel of how things changed a great deal.

The making of Kenya Airways nonstop flight to New York 1

Prof. Fredrick Okacha, Psychology lecturer who traveled to the New York in the 60s

The Kenya Airways team all agree that this will be a huge step for Kenya. Robert Godec, the US Ambassador to Kenya says that this will make travelling easier from Kenya to New York. The Kenya Airways chairman, Michael Joseph, insists that this is a symbol of our return to the great heights that we inspire to reach in the near future.

This major development that Kenya has made leads us to one key question; what are the steps that Kenya had to make in order to achieve this.

“A lot of work has been done, effort has been put and sacrifices made by various stakeholders,” James Macharia, cabinet secretary, transport, explains. Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA), the regulator of the country’s airspace, has been at the center of making these steps.

According to the authority’s Director General, Capt. Gilert Kibe explains what the US federation was looking for. Apparently, there were four steps that took place in order to ensure that Kenya ran a safe, efficient and secure civil aviation oversight system

The making of Kenya Airways nonstop flight to New York 2

Captain Gilbert Kibe, Director General KCAA

According to Jonny Andersen, the MD, Kenya Airport Authority, the Jomo Kenyatta Airport is a safe place where they are always coming up with measures to ensure it remains just that for the passengers.

The making of Kenya Airways nonstop flight to New York 3

Jonny Andersen, MD, Kenya Airport Authority

In Seattle city, Washington State in the US, is the headquarters of Boeing commercial airplanes; the source of the 787 Dreamliner planes.

These planes are preferred for nonstop flights such as the one to New York. The CHAMS media team visited here in an effort to get the feel of what it would be like for those taking this nonstop flight.

The making of Kenya Airways nonstop flight to New York 4

The inside of a dreamliner, one of Boeing's planes that is good at nonstop flights

All this just shows how much Kenya’s tourism sector is going to benefit by the end of the day. Najib Balala, Cabinet secretary tourism, believes that since the US is our main source market, there will be a 20% increase or more into our economy.

The making of Kenya Airways nonstop flight to New York 5

Najib Balala, cabinet secretary tourism

This flight has been the blessing everyone has been hoping for. Businessmen have already taken this opportunity to make something out of it. Java House for example, East Africa’s largest coffee chain, will serve its coffee on board.

Apart from that, those on board the most talked about flight will receive a special amenities bag made by Sandstorm Kenya, based in Karen, Nairobi.

For Kenya, this is going to be the blessing we have all been praying for. It is the opportunity for economic growth that will ensure our country develops to greater heights even in the near future. Thus, by the end of the day, it is quite clear that as a country, Kenya is going places!

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