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Jambojet puts off plan to resume direct Entebbe, Kigali flights

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A Jambojet plane at the Kisumu International Airport. PHOTO | TONNY OMONDI | NMG

Summary

  • Jambojet managing director Ndegwa Karanja said with the stringent Covid-19 travel regulations in the two East African nations, the carrier does not have plans to resume flights in those destinations soon.
  • Uganda demands that all passengers going to Entebbe must take a second PCR test upon arrival, regardless of vaccination status except children under six years and airline crew.
  • Jambojet has been on an expansion spree and recently expanded its flights to Goma in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, as it seeks expansion in the vast central African country.

Jambojet has put on hold plans to restart direct flights to Entebbe and Kigali due to strict Covid-19 containment measures, which have reduced demand on the route.

Jambojet managing director Ndegwa Karanja said with the stringent Covid-19 travel regulations in the two East African nations, the carrier does not have plans to resume flights in those destinations soon as demand for air travel has also dropped.

Uganda demands that all passengers going to Entebbe must take a second PCR test upon arrival, regardless of vaccination status except children under six years and airline crew.

Tests cost $30 (Sh3, 352) and are conducted at the airport, implying that travellers will have to incur additional costs to enter the country.

“We may not want to go in markets full of travel restrictions such as Entebbe and Rwanda any time soon. The two nations are still implementing tough Covid-19 travel restrictions,” Mr Ndegwa told the Business Daily during an interview yesterday.

The Government of Rwanda however demands that if you test positive for Covid-19 upon arrival or during your time in Rwanda even if you are fully vaccinated, the severity of your symptoms will determine whether you are isolated in a government-run treatment center or a hotel at your own cost.

“The tough travel restrictions in the two countries have seen demand for air travel drops. Our sister airline is reducing its frequency on the routes,” said Mr Ndegwa.

Kenya Airways (KQ) in July cut the number of flights from 12 a week to nine citing low loads on the route as passengers keep off the route.

Uganda is one of the key routes for KQ with the most frequencies within the region and low demand is set to impact the carrier’s earnings.

Jambojet has been on an expansion spree and recently expanded its flights to Goma in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, as it seeks expansion in the vast central African country.

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