Kenya’s low-cost regional airline, Jambojet, will favor local routes for now as it seeks to consolidate its operations in the country before expanding internationally. The airline has had to suspend some of its international flights during COVID and has no immediate plans to deploy its planes to overseas destinations on a large scale.
Focus on the internal market
Jambojet does not plan to add any new international routes this year and wants to focus on growing its business in the Kenyan market. Business Daily Africa reports that the budget carrier has no plans to launch any new international routes for the rest of the year.
Jambojet CEO Karanja Ndegwa commented:
“No extra for the year, the rest (roads) is long term two to three years, for now we are focusing on organic growth.”
Jambojet was launched in 2014 as a low cost subsidiary of Kenya Airways and is headquartered in Nairobi. It operates in seven cities in Kenya, with its destinations outside Nairobi, including regional hubs such as Mombasa, Malindi, Kisumu and Lamu.
Earlier this month, the carrier increased the number of flights to Mombasa, Malindi, Eldoret, Kisumu and Ukunda, following strong demand ahead of the Easter holiday.
Currently, the only international destination where Jambojet deploys its aircraft is the city of Goma, in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. According to ch-aviation, the carrier operates six DCH-8-400 aircraft with an average age of four years.
International expansion pending
Jambojet had to drastically reduce its international operations at the height of the COVID pandemic. It stopped flying to Entebbe and Kigali in 2021 and does not plan to resume those services any time soon.
Entebbe started off as a profitable route for the carrier, growing over 17% in 2019 since its launch in February 2018. However, with increased border restrictions during COVID coupled with extremely low demand, Entebbe became a victim of the pandemic.
Another current route for the carrier is to Dar es Salaam. Last year, Kenya and Tanzania reached an agreement to boost trade between the two countries, paving the way for Jambojet to start flights between Nairobi and Dar es Salaam.
However, the plan is currently in the doldrums, with Ndegwa adding that some issues need to be resolved before the carrier is ready to start service.
The airline is currently focused on domestic growth. Photo: Jambojet
Goma receives love
An exception to Jambojet’s international operations is Goma. The airline began serving the Ugandan city in September last year with two flights a week, eventually increasing to three.
To meet growing demand, Jambojet recently announced that it would further increase its frequency to Goma to four per week in June, intensifying competition with carriers such as RwandaAir which operates on the route.
Have you ever traveled by Jambojet? What do you think of the carrier’s strategy to focus on local routes this year? Please share your comments below.
Source: Business Daily Africa
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