Kenya seeks investment in aviation sector ahead of U.S. flights launch
Kenya has called on investors to take advantage of the flights between Nairobi and New York, set to begin in October, to expand business.
James Macharia, Cabinet Secretary for Transport, said on Wednesday that the collaboration by Kenya Airways and the U.S. will transform Nairobi into commercial and transport hub that will come with all the attendant features to enhance trade.
"As soon as the venture gets underway, Kenya will invest massively to ensure that infrastructural facilities for conducive trade are enhanced in order to make the undertaking an operational success," Macharia said.
He made the remarks during a meeting with U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce Gilbert Kaplan, who is on a two-day visit to Nairobi to strengthen talks and trade between the two countries ahead of the direct flights to the North American country.
Kaplan was accompanied by a delegation of over 70 business people from the private sector executives and members of the President's Advisory Council for the tour ahead of Oct. 28 launch of non-stop flights that will make Kenya Airways the first airline to offer non-stop flight between East Africa and the U.S.
The airline will operate the Boeing 787 Dreamliner with the capacity of 234 passengers daily with a 15 hours duration eastbound and 14 hours westbound.
Sebastian Mikosz, Kenya Airways CEO, said the flight will be the 52nd destination worldwide in the company's growing network.
"Kenya and the U.S. have been close allies and have enjoyed cordial bilateral relations since independence, with about 50 American companies and organizations operating in the country that will henceforth their time and space abridged because of the new developments," the CEO said.
Mikosz said the U.S. is also Kenya's top tourist source market, with a total of 95,700 tourists having visited Kenya in the first 10 months of last year, a 20 percent increase in traffic every year for the past two years.