KQ slashes New York flights on low demand

KQ rehires laid-off employees on higher ticket demand

The national carrier, Kenya Airways (KQ) has resolved to cut down its weekly trip to New York to only two due to low demand.

Low demand coincides with the near-end of the summer season.

KQ’s number of passengers on Nairobi New York route has dropped with the carrier recording a cabin factor of below 65 percent, forcing them to remove one flight to JF Kennedy, which had been introduced in July.

According to the Business Daily report, the airline had enjoyed a good season, recording a cabin factor of over 70 percent between June and end of August as more travellers sought to travel for summer holidays.

“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 three to two on the New York route starting this month,” said the airline in response to Business Daily queries.

KQ said with the cabin factor of 60 percent, the route is still commercially viable because of good belly cargo load that the airline is carrying.

Outbound flights to the US will be on Tuesday and Saturday.

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The carrier had in February reduced New York flights to one weekly after demand failed to grow since resuming operations on the route on November last year on new COVID-19 restrictions.

Kenya Airways  resumed New York flights in October last year after a seven-month hiatus occasioned by the pandemic.

This was after the airline resumed international flights August same year.

The New York route, which will be clocking three years in October, is a crucial destination for KQ as the carrier uses its hub at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) to connect passengers to the US from other countries.

Kenya Airways had forecast its daily direct flights to the US, which it launched for the first time in October 2018, would boost annual revenues by more than 10 per cent in 2019 and 2020.

Additional content by Business Daily

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