Jambo Jet, a subsidiary of Kenya Airways has received approval to commence flights to Kigali, Rwanda and it plans to do so before the end of the year

Jambojet chief executive Allan Kivaluka  said apart from the clearance by the Rwanda Civil Aviation Authority, the airline has also received rights fly to Goma in Democratic Republic of Congo, Mogadishu in Somalia and Bujumbura in Burundi.

Jambojet has been flying to Entebbe, Uganda and acting on behalf of KQ to Bujumbura and Blantyre, Malawi.

“We have been given the go-ahead by Kenya Civil Aviation Authority to fly to many of these destinations. We are waiting for the rights to Juba in South Sudan, Comoros, Mwanza and Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and Zanzibar,” Kivaluka said.

He spoke during the unveiling of a new Jambojet Dash8-Q400, Kongoti, with an 82-seat capacity. The acquisition brings to six, the airplanes operated by Jambojet.

Cabin crew Janet Sophie and Irene Oyier during the unveiling of the new De Havilland Dash 8-Q400 Aircraft.

Cabin crew Janet Sophie and Irene Oyier during the unveiling of the new De Havilland Dash 8-Q400 Aircraft. Cabin crew Janet Sophie and Irene Oyier during the unveiling of the new De Havilland Dash 8-Q400 Aircraft.

Jambojet expects to ferry 800,000 by the end of this year after the launch of the new route, setting a 10 per cent target growth annually with the doubling of flights.

Currently, it flies 700, 000 passengers every year, to five local destinations Malindi, Diani, Mombasa, Kisumu and Eldoret.

The new plane  acquired on a 10-year lease agreement is the first of four air crafts expected this year to boost the airlines capacity, and reduce fuel costs by 25 per cent, as it looks to expand its wings across Africa.

JamboJet’s regional expansion strategy comes at a time when the KQ is pulling off some regional routes.

Yesterday it announced it  will suspended flights to Libreville, Gabon and Cotonou, Benin from October 14.

Chief commercial officer Ursula Silling said customers travelling to the two destinations beyond the date will be rerouted or rebooked through KQ partner airlines.

She said the decision to withdraw its operations to the two countries is part of its strategy to align its network worldwide.

“KQ will continue to optimise its network in order to serve its customers better while adapting to the constantly changing market demand,” said Siling.

The return of Uganda Airlines after a long absence has stiffened. It flies  from Kampala and Entebbe to Nairobi, Juba and Mogadishu.

Kilavuka said competition is welcome as long as the companies abide by the regulations and rules for a fair game.

On the planned nationalisation of Kenya Airways, Kilavuka said they are awaiting the decision and the modalities to see how it will affect JamboJet.

“KQ nationalisation is the big discussion now and is still on works. As for now, we continue improving and growing our (Jambojet) business, and then we will be on safe hands,” he said.

In July, MPs adopted the National Assembly transport committee’s report setting out the nationalisation of the listed company and recommending the formation of an umbrella Aviation Holding Company to run Kenya’s aviation sector.