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Kenya Approved for Direct Flights to US

  • Associated Press

FILE - Kenya Airways planes are seen parked at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport near Kenya's capital, Nairobi, April 28, 2016.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration says Kenya has complied with international safety standards and can have direct flights to the U.S. after waiting for more than a decade.

The FAA in a statement Thursday said Kenya has received a category 1 rating under the agency’s International Aviation Safety Assessment Program. With that rating, Kenyan air carriers can establish service to the U.S.

Kenya’s transport minister James Macharia described the category 1 status as a major milestone in the country’s aviation industry. Kenya is East Africa’s largest economy.

Kenya transformed its main airport after a 2013 fire destroyed its international terminal because the airport had only one fire engine working. Some rescuers, including police, looted ATMs and foreign exchange bureaus instead of fighting the blaze.

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