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Plans for Kenya-U.S direct flights still holding, says government

Kenyan government has indicated that the plan to begin direct flights between the United States and Kenya is still holding. Foreign Affairs and International Trade CS Amina Mohamed said that the negotiations with Delta Air Lines have almost concluded. She refuted the claims that Delta Air Lines was yet to show keen interest in the launch of direct flights between the two countries.

Media reports quoted a Delta Air Lines’ official as saying that the airline presently has no “near-term” plans to introduce direct flights services between Kenya and the United States. Olivia Cullis, Delta Air Lines’ spokeswoman currently based in London, said that the airline has always been evaluating market opportunities across the world, but doesn’t have any plans now to begin direct flights to Kenya in the near-term.

However, Foreign Affairs and International Trade CS Amina Mohamed contradicted the previous statements made by Transport and Infrastructure CS Michael Kamau and said that the Kenyan authorities are yet to receive a formal communication for the launch of direct flights. She said that the commercial discussions have already been completed and Delta Air Lines is awaiting approval by the Federal Aviation Administration in September 2014. The flights are being planned to be launched early next year.

Earlier, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration had issued an alert in 2009 of a possible terror strike after which Delta Air Lines acted swiftly pulling out of the direct flights plan at the last minute.

The Kenyan government and the country’s business leaders recently made a high-powered trip to the United States. The visit has been termed as the most successful that has ever been held between the two countries. This has raised fresh hopes of direct flights services being introduced between the United States and Kenya. If the direct flights plan finally takes shape, this would immensely help the business travelers of the two countries.

Delta Air Lines also said that the security situation has significantly improved in Keya and that their aircrafts were ready to being service from early next year after getting the nod from Federal Aviation Administration in September this year. Kenya Airways is also interested in launching direct flights between the two countries.

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