Feb 16th 2021- Kenya Airways has cut New York flights to one flight weekly scaling down the carriers from two flights a week. This is after demand failed to grow since resuming operations on route in November on fresh Covid-19 restrictions.
KQ chief executive officer Allan Kilavuka said the travel industry has seen a worsening dip in demand due to implementation of travel restrictions in various countries.
He added passengers have scaled down their travel plans to avoid strict conditions at the ports of entry, a move that has subdued demand.
“As Kenya Airways, we have responded to this by reducing capacity deployment in some key markets such as the UK and the US. We have reduced our operations to JFK from the planned twice weekly to once weekly, and we continue to monitor the situation,” said Kilavuka.
Kilavuka said most EU countries are limiting travel from Africa while the US last month implemented Covid-19 testing as a requirement for entry.
New travel rules require all international air travelers aged two and older to present a negative coronavirus test taken within three calendar days of travel or proof of recovery from Covid-19 to enter the United States.
Kenya Airways started direct flights to the US in October 2018, cutting the journey to 15 hours on the long haul route tapped as part of an effort aimed to encourage more business and tourist travel, with the US being one of Kenya’s biggest source of visitors. It was therefore operating five flights to New York before the Covid-19 pandemic that saw the carrier ground all its aircraft in early April.
It 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 percent in 2019 and 2020.
Mr Kilavuka said the China route remains one of the most profitable for the route and it flies there two times a week.