Six weeks to the launch of Jambo Jet


(Posted 18th February 2014)

April the First will definitely not be the traditional ‘Fools Day’ for Kenyan aviation, as Kenya Airways’ long awaited low cost offspring Jambo Jet will commence operations on that day.

A few weeks ago did Dr. Titus Naikuni, CEO of Kenya Airways, announce that Jambo Jet will likely launch during Q1 of 2014 and the date now obtained from a source close to the airline is not far out for that matter. Bookings will be opened before the end of February and can be accessed through the same CRS’ on which Kenya Airways is present.

The same source confirmed that the new carrier’s proposed launch fares will be in the region of Kenya Shillings 3.000 per sector flown, all taxes and regulatory charges included, which translates to about 35 US Dollars for what will be a no frills flight though an increase after the launch phase has not been ruled out. Refreshments on board will have to be paid for by passengers, unlike on parent company Kenya Airways flights, where inflight service of drinks on domestic routes is part of the standard level of service. It was also confirmed that checked in bags will attract a fee on each sector as is customary among LCC’s.

Jambo Jet, a logo is still to be unveiled, will initially fly from Nairobi to Mombasa and Kisumu, though the two other domestic destination of Eldoret and perhaps even Malindi may well also be served by ‘JJ’ flights. It is not known at this moment in time how the introduction of Jambo Jet flights to these destinations will affect the current Kenya Airways’ schedule though insider information has it that KQ flights ‘proper’ may be ‘thinned out’ to make space for Jambo Jet’s flights which, considering the substantial difference in fares, are very likely to see traffic to these destinations shift as far as the domestic market is concerned. Kenya Airways will however maintain key connections linked to international arrivals and departures of their flights in Nairobi to make sure passengers with final destination beyond Nairobi will have easy and convenient onward flights.

Unlike parent company Kenya Airways, which is increasingly using the Embraer E190 on domestic routes, will Jambo Jet commence operations with initially two B737-300 aircraft, which will features a single class cabin, unlike KQ where a premium business class is available on all flights.

Jambo Jet will on the Kenyan domestic market compete with other low cost carriers like Fly540 and FlySAX and on a regional basis prepare the battle ground for the expected push of FastJet into the Kenyan market, after being constrained to Tanzania since its launch in late 2012, where it now operates to 4 domestic destinations and two international destinations, the latter being Johannesburg and Lusaka.

Watch this space for breaking and regular aviation news from across Eastern Africa and be sure to learn when Jambo Jet’s logo will be unveiled and when their website will be launched.

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