Budget carrier Jambojet has received approval to fly between cities in Kenya without stopping at its hub in Nairobi and also expand into cargo business.
The carrier had sought permission from Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) to fly directly from Mombasa to Kisumu and from Kisumu to Eldoret- Malindi-Lamu without stopping in Nairobi.
Jambojet acting chief executive officer Ndegwa Karanja said they sought permission to carry conventional cargo within and outside the country where the carrier currently flies.
“With the approval we shall now do conventional cargo that will basically involve the belly freight as at the moment we are not in position to acquire a dedicated cargo flight,” said Mr Ndegwa.
The carrier is also seeking permission to expand its existing international destinations from where they fly at the moment and they have got approval from the regulator to fly directly from Mombasa-Kigali-Mombasa, Mombasa-Entebbe-Mombasa and Mombasa- Dar es Salaam-Mombasa.
Other international routes include Mombasa- Dar es Salaam- Zanzibar-Mombasa, JKIA-Entebbe—Goma-Entebbe-JKIA and JKIA-Kigali-Bujumbura-JKIA.
KCAA had sought public opinion in June before giving approval to Jambojet, which at the moment flies to two international routes in Kigali and Entebbe.
The approval comes at a time when the aviation industry is in turmoil following the disruptions caused by the Covid-19 that saw airlines around the world grounded.
The flights have resumed but Jambojet is yet to start international flights because of strict health guidelines issued by Rwanda and Uganda.
Mr Ndegwa said that apart from the stringent measures, the demand for flying is still low at the moment.
“We have not yet made a decision on when to resume international flights as the demand has remained low since the services resumed,” he said.
The carrier has been expanding its fleet and last year acquired four new aircraft as it sought to expand to regional countries.
The airline will use aircraft B737, implying that the carrier plans to acquire a new high capacity aircraft for regional routes. It will also deploy DHC8 and ATR72 based at the JKIA and Mombasa, as some of its airplanes based at the coastal city.
The Nairobi- Kigali route began in November last year while the Entebbe route started in 2018.