Kenya Airways #ticker:KQ has increased frequencies to the US to four a week as demand for bookings picks up this festive season, coming as a relief to the carrier that is struggling with low numbers in the wake of a new variant of Covid-19 that has hit the airlines.
KQ said it has seen an increased demand for bookings in the route and increased frequencies from two weekly to match the growing travel.
The airline has been struggling with low numbers on the US route, a move that saw the carrier suspend the flights to one weekly after resuming operations last year in November following months of grounding, occasioned by the Covid-19.
However, in June this year, KQ increased flights to three on this route as the summer season peaked, raising the number of tourists from America to East Africa, with a one-way ticket going for up to Sh101,305 from about Sh90,000.
“We have increased our direct flights on the New York-Nairobi route to four times a week to allow more families to reconnect this festive season,” said KQ.
The US route is one of the crucial destinations for the national carrier as it plays a major role in connecting travellers who transit through Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
KQ is the only airline in East Africa that flies directly to the US, making it easier for passengers from Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania to connect through Nairobi.
Kenya Airways had forecast its daily direct flights to the US would boost annual revenues by more than 10 percent in 2019 and 2020 but was not to be met because of the disruptions caused by Covid-19.
The national carrier normally makes the bulk of its revenue at the onset of summer that runs through June to September when demand for air travel is high.
A sharp decline in summer bookings last year saw Kenya Airways losses nearly triple to Sh36.2 billion in the year ending December as the carrier sank deeper into the red following a slump in passenger numbers occasioned by Covid-19.
Kenya Airways started direct flights to the US in October 2018, cutting the journey to 15 hours on the long haul route tapped as part of an effort to revive the airline’s fortunes. firstname.lastname@example.org