Travel

Jambojet eyes DRC business travellers

jambo

DRC embassy in Kenya Second Secretary Bosaw Botuli (left) and Diplomat privileges, host country Liaison Affairs and UNON Directorate Ambassador Samuel Gitonga at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi during the launch of Jambojet's direct flight to the Eastern DRC city of Goma on September 10, 2021. PHOTO | LUCY WANJIRU | NMG

Summary

  • Travel agents report increased interest for both business and leisure packages as the former Belgium colony opens up its economy to African.
  • Eager to align its operations to tap into the emerging opportunities, Jambojet has been on a robust regional expansion.

Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is an emerging travel and business destination following the signing of key bilateral agreements by President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Congolese counterpart Felix Tshisekedi of DRC in April 2021.

Travel agents report increased interest for both business and leisure packages as the former Belgium colony opens up its economy to African.

The business value proposition is made more compelling by the fact that DRC is a step closer to being admitted as the newest member of the East Africa Community after the bloc’s ministers in late November gave the nod to a report recommending its membership.

Eager to align its operations to tap into the emerging opportunities, Jambojet has been on a robust regional expansion. In September 2021 the airline launched two weekly flights from Nairobi to Goma, the capital of North Kivu province of the DRC and added a third frequency in November.

“As passenger numbers grew to over 40 percent we increased our weekly services and soon we will add a fourth frequency,” said Karanja Ndegwa CEO and Managing Director of Jambojet “What Jambojet is doing is to follow the business opportunities in DRC and to open up Goma.”

And to ensure that the airline does not miss out on those opportunities, Mr Ndegwa was part of a 14-day Kenya DRC Trade Mission that toured four cities early this month.

Ndegwa said the budget airline has stepped in to ease travel between the two nations.

“Trade between the eastern part of DRC and Kenya is big and uses the port of Mombasa. We can connect people and industries which makes running and monitoring their businesses cheaper.”

Equity Bank, the United Nations and other international NGOs are among several entities operating Goma with personnel commuting regularly between the two countries.

Prior to the carrier’s entry, travel to Goma was via Addis Ababa or Kigali, a journey of up to 19 hours with average fares of $600.

Today it takes only two hours.