offshorebirder

Direct flights from USA to JKIA - update

58 posts in this topic

This tantalizing quote, if true, could be a game changer for those of us heading to East Africa from the USA. I guess we will hear the final answer on July 25.

 

"Nairobis Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) is poised to join category one status to allow for direct flights to the US.

 

Transport Principal Secretary Irungu Nyakera made the revelation in Cape Town, South Africa, during the launch of the Nairobi-Cape Town route by Kenya Airways, via Livingstone in Zambia. He said officials from the Transport Security Organisation (TSA), US agency concerned with air travel, were at JKIA from May 10 to 13 and expressed satisfaction with the progress so far made on the airports security. They were generally happy. We expect a favourable answer in two weeks time, he said adding, We have to achieve it this year. The PS said the process started two years ago with 80 action items to improve on. The items are now down to nine. The Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) are expected in Nairobi on July 25 to announce if Kenya qualifies, he said. He was optimistic that Parliament would pass the Civil Aviation Bill in a week or so to expedite things."

 

http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/business/article/2000207785/jkia-eyes-category-one-status-to-allow-us-flights

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That is tantalizing "good" news. It was this actual possibility which is making me think about going to Kenya next year. I've been trying to find articles as to where the process was so I really appreciate your posting this!!!! :)

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You're quite welcome @Imonmm - that's what is so nice about the "group mind" of Safaritalk. Our collective gaze catches a lot!

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Congratulations to North American members. Fingers crossed for you. :).

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This has been in the works for some years now. Good to know we're getting closer. Still, I'll celebrate/believe it when the first direct flight actually takes off or lands here - not before. (not being pessimistic).

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I wonder where the direct flights would fly out from? Somwhere on the east coast I presume. I know there is a direct flight on Delta from Atlanta I think it is to Johannesburg. For me, I still have 5 more hours of flying to get there from California :(

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I feel for you @@SafariChick and its even worse here in the middle of nowhere. My fastest ever trip was 27 hours and you don't want to know the longest!

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It would it make everything far easier for me because I have to go home every year to visit my 80 year old. Frankly, I find living in Kenya far more exciting. I must say that I do appreciate the shopping, and American efficiency.

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I've done the direct flight to Joburg numerous times....long yes, but just done- get a good nights sleep and immediately into the new time schedule. I would love a direct flight to Nairobi as I've avoided a trip there just because of the multiple stops and that's just from the east coast. Also, I've done some reading and the security measures in the Nairobi airport are much more stringent than those at Joburg- and I mean WAY more stringent. I guess it's not just what goes on in the airport as well as on the tarmac. Anyway- I'm banking on these direct flights because that is what is making me plan for Kenya next year.

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I hope to meet you when you pass through Nairobi. Needless to say I love meeting my fellow safari lovers. I flew back from Nairobi and can't say that I found that the security measures were overly stringent.

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I wonder where the direct flights would fly out from? Somwhere on the east coast I presume. I know there is a direct flight on Delta from Atlanta I think it is to Johannesburg. For me, I still have 5 more hours of flying to get there from California :(

 

@@SafariChick - I read somewhere that Delta is keen on a direct flight to JKIA from Atlanta (Delta's hub). I would also be shocked if JFK doesn't have a direct flight when they become possible. And Dulles (D.C.) and Logan (Boston) seem like good possibilities as well.

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@Optig- the security in Joburg is a once through with very basic metal detectors and then poof- you are in the main departure area. I've read that there are multiple levels in Nairobi, but just what I've read. I'd love to try and meet when I go :)

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hope this happens as our first safari to Kenya is next july.

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Here at Boston's Logan Airport, we've seen a lot of "new" to us routes in the last couple years with Turkish, Japan Airline, Wow, Thomas Cook, Copa, Emirates. So it's possible. We seem to be extending our international reach beyond the traditional European destinations.

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Unfortunately, the most logical airline would be Delta, and out of Atlanta. Kenya Airways is too cash strapped to start flights from NBO, and the other US airlines historically haven’t expressed interest in African flights that are seasonal in nature.

From years of researching fares I’ve found that via Atlanta is always higher priced. Combine that with the idea that long haul non-stops can garner higher fares, safari-goers will have to choose between convenience (with no competition, so more costly) or the longer traditional one stops via LHR/AMS/FRA/ADD/etc (with lower fares because of competition).

You didn’t expect to have your cake and eat it too? :)

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Having done the ATL-Joburg trip numerous times, I've been willing to pay more for convenience. Travel is hard enough without adding the hassle of multiple stops, changes, etc. Especially because, for some reason, I get decent prices when leaving from my little local airport. No idea why, but it's worked and I much prefer to be close to home on the return trip- just too tired to add a lengthy drive on top of it. Sometimes it's worth the extra money- at least for me it is :)

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If it does end up being direct from Atlanta, I'd probably not bother. If I'm going to transfer with the potential of being stuck anywhere, I'd rather be in Europe where there are a lot more options for me getting there in the event of a cancellation or missed flight. It's just a mental block I have. I'd also rather break the flights up into manageable chunks. It'd be 4 hours to Atlanta for me, then 14+ to Kenya. My preferred BOS-AMS-NBO route means a 6 hour and 8 hour flight instead. I've done 16 hours to Beijing and would rather chew my arms off than do a flight that long again.

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What @@AKChui says makes sense - but I hope there are more airlines than just Delta pursuing it.

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From today's email newsletter from Bill Givens' The Wild Source:

 

Flights Direct to Nairobi?
Secretary of State John Kerry will be visiting Kenya near the end of August. Kenya Aviation authorities have been working toward meeting United States security requirements to allow for direct flights between the USA and Kenya. It is rumored that following the Secretary of State’s visit this route will be approved. If so it will open up a much more convenient route to Nairobi. With Nairobi being a major hub for the rest of East Africa it will likely also greatly improve options for reaching Tanzania and Rwanda too.

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Posted (edited)

@@amybatt awesome news- thank you.

Edited by lmonmm
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Latest estimate (from the Kenyan government) is direct flights starting around February 2017. Too late for my January trip - but maybe next time...

 

http://www.nation.co.ke/business/Kenya-says-poised-for-direct-US-flights-starting-Feb/996-3380660-cq3r17/

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Things obviously go at a snails pace :( This is more good news for me that would love to go to Kenya in late spring 2017, but a lot hinges on flights Thanks for the update @@offshorebirder

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For what it's worth @Imonmm - Emirates has round trip airfares from Boston (Logan) to Nairobi (JKIA) for $863.

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Now this would be nice... even nicer would be out of Toronto... get on it Air Canada!!

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It is interesting to see that fares are being quoted even before the route has gone through the approval process

 

so it looks like that it will be originating out of more than one USA city

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