JKIA only has to improve its safety score slightly—from 78.42 at the last audit to a minimum of 80—to be classified as a “Category 1” airport by US regulators and get approval for direct flights. JKIA first became an international airport in 1975; until recently much of the infrastructure still dated back to then.
American-based Delta Airlines and Fedex have expressed interest in starting operations to Kenya. At the moment, flights from Kenya terminate in Europe from where travellers make connecting flights to the US.
Direct flights would be a boon to Kenya’s struggling national airline, Kenya Airways. It has lost business to airlines such as Ethiopian, which runs direct flights between Addis Ababa (only a two-hour flight from Nairobi) and Washington, DC. If direct US-Nairobi flights were restored, Kenya Airways would have a ready customer base in the 100,000-plus Kenyan community in the US.
Kenya would benefit greatly from the developed economy of America if direct flights are re-introduced. Export for horticultural and other agricultural product from Kenya would reach the destined market without necessary passing through the European intermediary markets, this would result to better prices and timely delivery