Budget airline Jambojet will be leasing four more aircraft this year as it seeks to boost its fleet in readiness for launch of new routes in at least four destinations.
The carrier’s chief executive officer, Allan Kilavuka, says they will be leasing Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 to add to its existing fleet, the youngest in the region.
The airline is building on its success in Uganda, where it launched a daily flight last year, to expand to other regional countries.
“We are expecting four additional Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 aircraft this year as part of our fleet expansion,” said Mr Kilavuka in an interview with Shipping and Logistics.
“We are in the process of growing our presence in the region, more specifically to Bujumbura, Juba, Goma and Mwanza among others”.
He said at the moment they are engaging the individual governments to seek approval to operate in their countries and that they plan to embark on the new destinations as soon as their requests are approved.
“The plan is to launch the destinations in 2019. However, it is dependent of receiving the approvals on time,” the CEO said.
The lease is expected to last for 10 years, during which time Jambojet will be making monthly payment to the owners of the aircraft.
The airline launched the Uganda route last year in February on its first regional expansion and has described the route as a success one year later.
According to the carrier, the route has witnessed a 17 percent growth since the first flight was launched on February 15 last year.
The airline has been charging significantly low fares compared to other carriers in what has been attributed to its growth on the Entebbe route. The firm has been charging about Sh13,500 for a one way ticket compared with Sh26,485 that KQ charges for an economy seat on the same route and RwandAir’s Sh19,080.
The airline, a subsidiary of national carrier Kenya Airways, received two new aircraft worth Sh6.6 billion in December 2017, bringing its fleet to five.
The new routes will increase competition in the region, especially in Mwanza, where Precision Air has dominated the route. Kenya Airways has a stake on this airline.
Jambojet was in 2017 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.