On 28 October, 2018, Kenya Airways will launch its first ever flight to North America when it begins non-stop service between Nairobi and New York, USA. The flight which will be operated daily using a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, will take about 15 hours in both direction.
While not the longest flight in the world, surviving a 15-hour flight is definitely of some concerns. Here's what Kenya Airways has put in place to make the non-stop Nairobi-New York flight not just bearable but enjoyable for crew and passengers.
The Aircraft is a 'Dreamliner'
With all the technological advancements in commercial aviation, sitting down in an airplane seat for 15 hours can be worrisome even for the frequent flyer. But Kenya Airways has you covered. The direct flights between Nairobi and New York will be operated by Kenya Airways modern and young fleet of Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners.
Built with mostly composite materials, the Boeing 787 is one of the most innovative and technologically advanced commercial aircraft. Besides, 'smoother ride' technology, the Boeing 787 has lots of passenger pleasing features including the biggest (electronically dimmable) windows in the sky which create dramatic vistas and lets in extra natural light.
The full-spectrum LED mood lighting on the 787 sets the mood and helps passengers to naturally adjust to changing time zones. The 787 is pressurized at a lower altitude and features higher humidity both of which help to significantly reduce motion sickness and jet-lag, leaving passengers feeling refreshed and invigorated on arrival.
To make good things even better, Kenya Airways Boeing 787-8 is configured with only 234 seats including 30 in business class and 204 in economy class. With only 234 seats, Kenya Airways Boeing 787-8 is one of the least dense Boeing 787 configurations and one of the most comfortable long haul aircraft in the skies.
In addition to ergonomic seats designed for long haul flights, economy class passengers will also enjoy a relatively generous leg room of 32 inches. In the business class cabin, passengers will enjoy personal space, extra leg room of 75 inches as well as spacious seats that recline into lie flat beds for maximum comfort. consists of watching movie after movie, eating and sleeping.
Whether you want to watch your all-time favourite movie or catch up on the news while in flight, Kenya Airways has you covered.
To enhance the on-board experience of its passengers, Kenya Airways earlier in the year, signed a deal with Panasonic Avionics to install the eX3 IFE system on its Boeing 787-8 which provides over 700 hours of on-demand entertainment.
With Kenya Airways top of the line IFE system, both economy and business class passengers on the Nairobi-New York rotations, can choose from a host of new contents on their interactive seat-back screens for unrivalled and memorable entertainment experience on board.
On the Boeing 787, Economy Class passengers will have access to 10.7 inch screen with power socket, while Business Class passengers will enjoy 15.4-inch screen, universal power socket and a USB port.
As far as passengers are concerned, food is probably the most important element in long haul flying. That is why Kenya Airways has invested in in-flight food offerings especially for the 15-hour haul New York service.
To elevate guests’ experience, Kenya Airways had in July unveiled a revamped catering service designed to reflect African authenticity, hospitality and simplicity. The new catering service which has been rolled out across the airline’s network, will see Kenya Airways guests enjoy a memorable and unforgettable experience throughout their journey.
Passengers on Nairobi-New York flights will enjoy new on-board menus featuring exquisite fusion of culture with Kenyan ingredients and a touch of African flavours. Business Class passengers will be welcomed on board with signature drinks inspired by a tantalizing combination of herbs, indigenous fruits and Kenya’s best tea.
The Flight Crew
According to Kenya Airways, the daily non-stop flights between Nairobi and New York will have a flight crew of four Pilots (2 Captains and 2 Senior First Officers) and 12 Flight Attendants. At 15 hours westbound and 14 hours eastbound, the flight will be the longest on Kenya Airways network and one of the longest by African airlines. Both the cockpit and cabin crew are expected to work in shifts on the long haul flight.
A Piece of Advice
Even with adequate in-flight entertainment and carefully curated on-board meals, long haul flying can still be challenging especially for non-frequent flyers. To get the best possible experience on long haul flights, take note of the following few advises.
Take little or no caffeine immediately before and during your flight. Caffeine has heightened effects at altitude, including jitteriness and possibly nausea and heartburn. Fried foods, alcohol and carbonated drinks should also be avoided as the can lead to drowsiness and flatulence. Choose a familiar food option to avoid stomach upsets and frequent visits to the toilet.
The sky has low humidity compared to the ground, so flying naturally dehydrates. Take lots of water to before and during your flight to avoid dehydration and headaches. It's also recommended that you take a walk at intervals during your flight to stretch your legs, it's a very effective way of reducing jet-lag and the risk of deep vein thrombosis.
Kenya Airways Flight KQ2 will depart Jomo Kenyata International Airport (JKIA), Nairobi at 23:25 and arrive at John F Kennedy Airport (JFK), New York at 06:25 the following day. Flight KQ3 will depart JFK at 12:25 and land at JKIA at 10:55 the following day.
Chidozie Uzoezie is an aviation enthusiast, a frequent flyer, a freelance writer and a travel blogger. He is also the admin of the African Aviation Group on Facebook. Reach him on firstname.lastname@example.org