JETLINK APPEARS TO HALT ALL OPERATIONS, NOT JUST JUBA FLIGHTS?
Following the publication of information about Jetlink halting flights to Juba, as a result of Southern Sudan’s authorities refusing the airline the repatriation of over 2 million US Dollars held in local currency in banks in Juba, added information was rushed to this correspondent by other sources in Nairobi to the effect that Jetlink may in fact halt all their operations come Friday morning.
While no feedback has been received to questions posed to the airline’s management, other sources have in fact confirmed that rumours are flying wild at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport about Jetlink not operating any flights, domestic or regional, come Friday morning. This, if true, would leave hundreds of passengers booked and ticketed already in limbo, unable to reach Mombasa, Eldoret or Kisumu and compelling them to rebook themselves on Kenya Airways, which is also serving the same routes.
While clearly the financial woes, as a result of South Sudan’s halt of oil exports and the subsequent total collapse of their foreign exchange regime, are to blame, other regular aviation sources also blame the cut throat competition in Kenya’s domestic market where less demand has led to lower revenues while at the same time having to deal with fares offered almost below cost just to stay afloat.
As said in the previous article, Kenya Airways will be the main beneficiary as they are Kenya’s aviation rock, certain to be here today and tomorrow and ready to absorb added traffic at a moment’s notice, by just boosting load factors before eventually adding more flights, as and where necessary.
‘True, I am on night duty today and there is talk that after a press conference by Jetlink owners yesterday late they told all their staff that there will be no flights from this morning. I do not know what will happen if passengers turn up for check in but I expect there to be scenes when they are told they have paid for a ticket and there will be no flights. I cannot say what contingency Jetlink has in place to deal with this. If they are short of cash because of not getting their money out of Juba, then surely passengers will have to buy another ticket to reach their destination. For me it proves one thing that when going by air you always chose your airline not just about safety and punctuality but also about still flying tomorrow. And that KQ can assure’.
Watch this space as this drama continues to unfold and stand by for morning updates on how passengers react when reaching the airports in Nairobi, Mombasa, Eldoret and Kisumu unaware that there will be any flights.