Lonely Planet Writer

New direct flight between Kenya and the US starts this week

Travellers who want to get between New York and Nairobi will find their journey much simpler with the introduction of a new direct flight.

Amboseli National Park, three male elephants cross a road with Mt Kilimanjaro in the background. Image by ©James Forsyth/Getty Images

Kenya Airways will begin a daily non-stop route between Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi and John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, beginning on 28 October. It’s the first direct long-haul flight connecting the two countries. According to Kenyan news reports, thousands of travellers have already booked tickets for the launch of the new flights. The route is considered a major milestone to the aviation industry in Kenya and is hoped will make the country a more attractive destination for US tourists.

Nairobi National Park. Image by ©Verónica Paradinas Duro/Getty Images

Kenya is a popular spot for travellers looking to go on safari, but the journey to the East African country can be quite long, requiring a stopover when travelling from the US. Travellers in East Africa will also be able to head to New York in less time – great news for anyone looking to visit one of the most popular cities in the world. The new flight will be the fastest connection between the countries, running 15 hours heading east and 14 hours west.

View of Brooklyn Bridge seen from Dumbo trail beside East River. Image by ©Matt Munro/Lonely Planet

A number of new flights are connecting East Africa with long-haul destinations; RwandAir launched three weekly non-stop flights from London Gatwick to Kigali last year and has also said it plans to connect the Rwandan capital with New York.

If you are heading to Nairobi and want to know how to experience the city like a local, follow these tips.