History as Kenya Airways completes first Nairobi-New York direct flight


History as Kenya Airways completes first Nairobi-New York direct flight
Inaugural Kenya Airways flight receives a water salute at the JKF International Airport in New York. PHOTO| KAA

In Summary

  • The Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner carrying 234 passengers left the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport at 11.20pm on Sunday after being flagged off by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
  • Upon landing at the JKF International Airport on Monday at 2.45 pm Kenya time (7.44am New York time), the KQ plane received a water salute, which occurs for ceremonial purposes.
  • The water salute is a touching airport tradition to honour military events, new airline service, anniversaries, noteworthy events at airport, last schedule of an airplane to that airport, and foreign dignitaries.

The first Kenya Airways (KQ) direct flight from Nairobi to New York was a success after the plane touched down at the JFK International Airport on Monday afternoon, completing a 15-hour nonstop journey.

The Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner carrying 234 passengers left the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport at 11.20pm on Sunday after being flagged off by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Upon landing at the JKF International Airport on Monday at 2.45 pm Kenya time (7.44am New York time), the KQ plane received a water salute, which occurs for ceremonial purposes.

The water salute is a touching airport tradition to honour military events, new airline service, anniversaries, noteworthy events at airport, last schedule of an airplane to that airport, and foreign dignitaries.

It involves a number of fire-fighting vehicles lining up perpendicularly on the sides of the taxiway and plumes of water sprayed over an arriving or departing flight. This denotes respect and greeting.

Among the passengers on the maiden flight from Nairobi to New York were Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amb. Monica Juma and US Ambassador Robert Godec.

During the flagging off ceremony, President Kenyatta handed over the Kenyan flag to Amb. Juma while Amb. Godec was given the American flag by a US Embassy representative.

Others on board the direct flight were Transport Principal Secretary Esther Koimett and Kenya Airways CEO Sebastian Mikosz.

Also on the flight were two 26-year old innovators, Shirlene Nafula and Evans Wadongo who were handed their return tickets by State House Spokesperson Kanze Dena and Kenya Airways Head of Corporate Social Responsibility and Corporate Events Jacquie Muhati at State House Nairobi on October 19.

 

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Story By Benjamin Muriuki
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