Kenya Airways (KQ) has cut the number of direct flights linking Nairobi to the US city of New York.
The national carrier told Business Daily that it has reduced the frequency of trips on the route from five to three per week due to low passenger demand. The demand for direct flights to John F. Kennedy International Airport has dropped following the end of the peak season in December last year.
KQ added two flights on the route in November last year to meet the rising demand ahead of the peak season when it recorded average bookings of over 70 percent per flight.
“We are now in low season and demand for travel on the route has gone down. We have had to reduce the number of flights from five to three on the New York route starting January 10th,” the airline told Business Daily.
The Kenya flag carrier has been struggling with low numbers on the Nairobi-New York route since November 2020 when it resumed operations following months of grounding due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Before the pandemic hit Kenya and other parts of the world, Kenya Airways was flying five times per week to the US.
The airline launched direct flights to New York in October 2018, cutting the journey to 15 hours on the long haul route tapped as part of efforts to revive its fortunes. Kenya Airways had projected that the nonstop flights to the US would boost its annual revenues by more than 10 percent in 2019 and 2020.
Being the only East African airline flying directly to the US, KQ makes it easier for passengers from Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Burundi to connect through Nairobi.