Low-cost airline Jambojet goes regional as it launches Uganda flightsThursday February 15 2018
Low cost carrier Jambojet has launched international flights, touching down at Uganda's Entebbe International Airport on Thursday.
The carrier, a subsidiary of Kenya Airways, #ticker:KQ will operate two daily return flights to the neighbouring country.
One-way tickets are priced at Sh11,330, a price tag the carrier says is introductory and subject to revision in the future.
Flights will depart the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) at 09:10am and 5:30pm every day while those flying out of Entebbe International Airport will leave at 11:00am and 7:20pm daily.
Uganda's Minister for Transport, Aggrey Baiire, welcomed Jambojet's entry into the market, noting that the move would help grow the economy and foster international ties.
"We need to build capacity to allow our local businesses have greater access to foreign markets.
"Air transport and connectivity supports exports and simultaneously increases competition and choice in the home market for foreign based producers," he said.
Dr David Kakuba, the managing director of Uganda's Civil Aviation Authority, echoed these sentiments, adding that Jambojet's entry will boost air travel.
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Cost of travel
Dr Kakuba noted that Jambojet's low-cost model approach would bring down the cost of travel between Kenya and Uganda, which is currently quite high, spurring business and leisure travel.
"Jambojet has identified a niche market and I wish to inform them that we shall support their business in Uganda, including requests for increased frequencies," he said.
"Jambojet joins the likes of Flydubai who also operate locally on a low-cost model. I believe Jambojet's entry in Uganda will help grow our air traffic numbers and will go a long way in supporting our efforts to grow the economy."
Jambojet was in May 2016 granted regulatory approval to fly to 16 routes including Entebbe, Addis Ababa, Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar, Kilimanjaro, Mwanza, Kigali, Juba, Bujumbura, Hargeisa, Mogadishu, Goma, Kisangani and Moroni.
Kenya late last year wrote to the governments of Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia and Democratic Republic of Congo to allow Jambojet fly to these routes.
Jambojet, which launched locally in April 2014, had earmarked Tanzania and Uganda as its first destinations after granting of approvals.
The low-cost carrier, which flies between 45,000 and 50,000 passengers per month in Kenya, reported a pre-tax loss of Sh25 million for the year to March, reversing a pre-tax profit of Sh126 million recorded the previous year.
"In East Africa alone, we have a market of over 100 million people and we have barely scratched the surface in air travel," Willem Hondius, Jambojet's CEO, said in Uganda on Thursday.
"We believe that Jambojet's entry into Uganda will make air travel more affordable to a majority of people who travel for business or leisure in the region and beyond. It will also foster regional Integration and economic growth."