A new codeshare agreement and new flights to South Africa and Ecuador lead this week’s air travel news.
This week Delta and Kenya Airways signed a new codeshare agreement allowing travelers on a direct flight from Nairobi to connect to 11 cities in the United States and four cities in Canada via New York. The codeshare destinations are Miami, Columbus, Houston, Chicago O’Hare, Kansas City, Orlando, Phoenix, Denver, Charlotte, Philadelphia and Raleigh - Durham in the U.S., and Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa and Edmonton in Canada.
Guests will also be able to earn and redeem miles on the network operated by both airlines. Additionally, Kenya Airways says it will increase its frequency to New York from five days a week to seven days a week starting in June.
In other news regarding flights to Africa, this week United Airlines announced plans to launch a new nonstop route between Newark and Cape Town starting in December. Operated on Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft with 48 seats in United Polaris business class, 88 seats in United Economy Plus and 116 seats in United Economy, the new flight will operate three times weekly, cutting travel time between New York and Cape Town by over four hours.
In other new flight news, this week JetBlue announced that it will launch new service between New York - JFK and Guayaquil, Ecuador, starting December 5, pending government approval, which JetBlue says will mark the only nonstop service by a major U.S. airline between the two cities. JetBlue says that the new route, which will be the longest in its network, is made possible by the delivery of new A321neo aircraft. The new flights will operate daily.
Finally, in airport news, this week Dubai Airports confirmed that both airports are “good to go” for the commencement of a 45-day-long refurbishment of the southern runway at Dubai International (DXB). The runway is nearing the end of its design life and requires a complete upgrade to accommodate future traffic growth, officials said.
The refurbishment means that passengers may experience a change in airports to Dubai World Central (DWC), although optimization of DXB’s one-runway operation and additional capacity by DWC means that the number of flights across the Dubai Airport system will see a reduction of only 19 percent and a seat reduction of 20 percent.