8 September 2017

Kenya Airways Gets Permit for Direct U.S. Flights

The United States government has granted Kenya Airways (KQ) a permit to operate direct flights to and from America.

According to an order issued by the Department of Transportation, the permit became effective on Tuesday.

The US Department of Transportation had in June recommended that the Kenyan national carrier be allowed to access if there were no public objections.

President Donald Trump was also given a 61-day window to disapprove, if he so wished. No objection had been given by the time the window expired, which was when the permit became effective, on September 5.

KQ's foreign air carrier permit now allows it to "schedule and charter foreign air transportation of persons, property, and mail from any point or points behind Kenya, via any point or points in Kenya and any intermediate points, to any point or points in the United States and beyond".

Category One status

In February, Kenya's main airport, JKIA, was granted Category One status by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) allowing for non-stop direct flights between the two countries.

The new licence now sets the stage for Kenya Airways and the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) to finalise on all regulatory requirements before the take-off of the first flight from Nairobi to the United States.

In June, Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia said that FAA officials would carry out the final audit of the JKIA in October.

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