Meet Irene Koki, the pilot flying Kenya’s first direct flight to US


In the KQ’s maiden first flight to the US, history is set to be made as Irene Koki will become Africa’s first female Dreamliner captain.

The 42-year old Irene Koki, who made  history after becaming the first African female pilot to be certified as a Captain of a Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, will be flying president Uhuru Kenyatta to the US in the inaugural flight.

Koki became one of the most popular captains in Africa after landing at the Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, JKIA, In the KQ’s fourth Dreamliner.

“The ultra-long-haul flight, unique to Kenya Airways network, will require 4 Pilots and 12 Flight attendants as well as 85 tons of fuel each way, making it an exceptional operation. The airline will operate its Boeing 787 Dreamliner with a capacity of 234 passengers,” reads a statement by the Kenya Airports Authorities (KAA).

The president will depart in business class from the Nairobi airport at 11.25 pm on October 28 and land at the John F Kennedy International Airport, New York at 6.25 am the following day.

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Tickets for the  maiden direct flight to New York have already been teased by KQ,  with the  economy class fliers paying  Sh89,000 to and fro.

In January of this year,  the KQ CEO Sebastian Mikosz announced that that business class customers will pay Sh. 257,634 both ways and that the tickets will be subject to government approval.

Kenya Airways said the timings were set to allow connections to and from 40 African destinations as well.

“The move will cut the flight time between the two cities by more than seven hours,” he said, noting it will take 15 hours eastbound and 14 hours westbound.

The plane will have 234 passengers on board,  30 in the premium world class while 204 will be economy class passengers. The flight will also have a total of four pilots, 12 flight attendants and 85 tonnes of fuel loaded in a single flight.

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