FINAL AUDIT TO DETERMINE WHEN DIRECT FLIGHTS BETWEEN KENYA AND THE UNITED STATES CAN START
(Posted 29th September 2016)
According to Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Transport and Communications, James Macharia, have all the required boxes been ticked by Kenya, now just awaiting the final approval by the FAA to see Jomo Kenyatta International Airport attain the coveted Category One status.
Once in place will it open the door for direct flights between the US and Kenya for both American airlines – Delta, a SkyTeam partner of Kenya Airways in fact had several times applied to commence flights and been stopped by the American administration – or of course Kenya’s own national airline, Kenya Airways.
Besides massive changes at the airport to separate traffic streams of arriving and departing passengers was it necessary to change certain aspects of regulations and of legislation, all of which is now in place.
The Kenyan authorities are hopeful that the FAA will send a team of inspectors for the final review of compliance in the very near future since Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala has already intimated that flights between the two countries may start as early as Q1 of 2017.
Kenya’s tourism industry, in particular the safari sector, but in fact all the East African safari countries like Tanzania, Rwanda and of course Uganda are excited about the prospect to see American tourists fly nonstop on the fastest possible route from America to Nairobi, adding valuable time to their vacation and allowing for visits across the region. Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda in fact offer a common tourist Visa at a cost of just 100 US Dollars per person for multiple entries between the three countries, aimed to develop regional safari tours by reducing the hassle of extra Visa.
While Tanzania is yet to join this cooperation have positive noises emerged from there as the benefits of attracting thousands of extra tourists outweighs past objections to the common East African tourist Visa.