Jambojet to delay Entebbe, Kigali flights over strict health measures


A Jambojet plane. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Budget carrier Jambojet will delay flying to Entebbe and Kigali when international flights start August 1 because of stricter Covid-19 requirements in these countries that the airline says will lead to low demand.

Jambojet acting managing director Ndegwa Karanja said with the mandatory quarantine in Rwanda and Uganda, the demand for flying in the two countries could be quite low.

Rwanda’s Ministry of infrastructure has announced that Passengers entering Rwanda will be required to take a second test upon arrival with the results expected within 24 hours. This will be in addition to the test that they would have taken in their home countries in the last 72 hours.

Kigali will require international passengers arriving in Rwanda to quarantine in selected hotel rooms that cost between $40 and $200 a day, implying that travellers will have to incur double cost to enter the country.

“We are reviewing (the routes) and we will get the most appropriate time to resume both Entebbe and Kigali routes. We are accessing the demand and return conditions. With mandatory quarantine in Rwanda and Uganda, the demand will be quite low,” said Mr Ndegwa.

East African citizens will be required to pay $50 for the Covid-19 test while foreigners coming outside of the region will have to part with $100 for the procedure.

Rwanda is opening its airspace for international travellers tomorrow after closing it nearly four months ago to curb spread of Covid-19. The carrier suspended flight to Rwanda and Uganda in March citing low passenger numbers.

Last year the carrier announced that the Entebbe route has witnessed over 17 per cent growth since the first flight was launched February 15, 2018.

The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted the airline’s plan to expand its international presence beside where it flies at the moment.

The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority had previously granted the low-cost airline a three-year licence to fly to Addis Ababa, Dar-es-Salaam, Zanzibar, Kilimanjaro, Mwanza, Kigali, Juba, Hargeisa, Mogadishu, Goma, Kisangani (DRC), Moroni (Comoros) and Lilongwe.

Kenya Airways has announced it will fly to Kigali daily from August 1 when it resumes international flights.

across 27 destinations.