Kenya Airways has maintained direct daily flights to New York into the winter, continuing the frequencies that it has this summer.

The national carrier has been operating daily flights to JFK since the beginning of summer as it ramped up the frequencies from five on the US route.

The carrier has since January to June been doing five flights on the US route on the low demand for passengers due to the winter season, which is normally characterised by low demand for travel.

KQ said the decision to ramp up the frequencies in June was informed by high forward booking from passengers seeking summer tickets.

“Starting December 4, 2023, we offer you daily flights to New York, travel beyond New York on our expanded codeshare partnership with Delta Airlines,” said the airline.

An increase in frequencies will target travelers seeking to travel for Christmas festivities in December between the two locations.

The American route has become the favourite of many airlines within the region, who are also putting up additional flights to cater for increased demand.

Ethiopian Airlines-Africa’s largest carrier by fleet and destination, recently expanded its flights to the US by adding another route to Atlanta, and reintroduction of the New York route via Abidjan, heightening competition to this destination.

Kenya Airways aircraft parked at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi. Photo: (Courtesy-KQ).
Kenya Airways aircraft parked at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi. Photo: (Courtesy-KQ).

The Ethiopian carrier introduced four weekly flights on the Atlanta route, allowing passengers who want to fly directly to the city to avoid connecting through JFK International Airport in New York, where most airlines that have direct link with the US fly.

Ethiopian first started serving New York from its main hub Addis Ababa via Abidjan in June 2019. However, the route was suspended in March 2020 due to Covid-19. Later, the flight resumed serving New York via Lomé starting in October 2020.

Atlanta is Ethiopian Airlines’ 6th destination in the US besides passenger services to New York, Newark, Chicago, Washington DC and cargo service to Miami.

It remains to be seen whether firming frequencies to this route will boost the carrier’s earnings given that KQ has previously termed JFK as one of the “difficult” destinations.