Kenya Airways leases small Jambojet planes for its Blantyre route

Passengers disembark from Jambojet at JKIA, Nairobi, on April 1 2014. FILE PHOTO | NMG

What you need to know:

  • Ongoing works at Chileka International Airport runway have blocked bigger aircraft from landing.

Kenya Airways #ticker:KQ has leased Jambojet to allow it fly to Blantyre route in Malawi as ongoing works at Chileka International Airport runway blocks bigger aircraft from landing there.

Jambojet is now operating three flights a week to Blantyre using Dash 8 Q400 aircraft, which can land with much ease at the Chileka Airport.

Kenya Airways normally uses Embraer 190, which has been flying to Malawi’s second largest city via Lilongwe.

“We are operating under wet lease on behalf of Kenya Airways to Blantyre with three flights a week to the city,” said Jambojet chief executive officer Allan Kilavuka in an interview with Shipping.

“The repairs are being carried out at the airport in Blantyre and larger aircraft cannot land at the facility right now,” he added.

Jambojet, which is a low budget subsidiary of the national carrier, is now getting revenue from KQ under the wet lease arrangement.

In wet lease, an airline rents an aircraft including the flight crew personnel to operate on a given route on their behalf.

The airline is charging Sh53,295 for a one way route for a three and a half hour flight to the Sothern African nation, almost the same amount that is levied by its parent company.

The Blantyre route makes it the third destination for Jambojet on the regional route.

The airline currently flies to Entebbe Uganda and recently launched flights to Bujumbura, Burundi.

However, the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority recently granted Jambojet a three-year licence to operate in seven new African countries.

The licences allow the airline to fly to Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), Dar-es-Salaam, Zanzibar, Kilimanjaro, Mwanza (Tanzania), Kigali (Rwanda), Jubba, Hargeisa, Mogadishu (Somalia), Goma, Kisangani (Democratic Republic of Congo), Moroni (Union of the Comoros) and Lilongwe from its hub at JKIA.

Jambojet will be leasing four more aircrafts this year as it seeks to boost its fleet in readiness for launching of the above routes in the second quarter of this year.

Mr Kilavuka said they will be leasing Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 to add to its existing fleet, which is the youngest currently in the region.

At the moment they are engaging the individual governments to seek approval to operate in their countries and plan to embark on the new destinations as soon as their request is approved.

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