Jambojet slows down on routes growth plan


Jambojet managing director Karanja Ndegwa. PHOTO | WACHIRA MWANGI | NMG

Budget carrier Jambojet will focus on growing internally with no immediate plans of launching new international routes for the remainder of the year.

The airline is also not focusing on resuming Entebbe and Kigali at the moment where it suspended operations three years ago.

The carrier’s chief executive officer Karanja Ndegwa says they are not planning on any additional routes outside of the country this year, meaning that the airline will only continue with its operations to Democratic Republic of Congo as the sole international route.

Jambojet stopped flying to Entebbe and Kigali at the height of Covid-19 last year, which saw airlines ground their services as countries closed their airspace for passenger flights to contain the spread of the virus.

“No additional for the year, the rest (routes) are long-term of two to three years, for now we are focusing on growing internally,” said Mr Ndegwa.

Uganda was a promising route for the carrier and in 2019 it announced that the Entebbe route had witnessed over 17 percent growth since the first flight was launched on February 15, 2018.

Plans have been underway for Jambojet to start flights to Tanzania following a deal reached between Nairobi and Dar es Salaam last year.

Kenya and Tanzania hammered out a bilateral trade deal last year cutting across the aviation and energy sectors, to boost trade between the two countries.

In the new deal, Jambojet was to be allowed to fly to destinations in Tanzania with Tanzania’s Taifa Gas being granted permission to establish a plant in Kenya’s Export Processing Zone.

Mr Ndegwa said they will start plying the Tanzanian route when they are ready as they are at the moment ironing out some issues.

Jambojet recently launched cargo operations to the city of Goma in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

The airline increased its frequency to Goma in the eastern DRC hardly a year since it launched the route, highlighting the high demand for passengers seeking air travel to the destination.

The carrier that started passenger operations on the route (DRC) in September last year will now be flying to Goma four times a week starting June up from the current three weekly flights.

The carrier operates six De Havilland Dash 8-400 planes and currently serves local destinations from its Nairobi hub: Kisumu, Eldoret, Malindi, Lamu, and Mombasa.

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