Jambojet gets regional route rights from KCAA – prepare for the battle of the skies in East Africa


(Posted 06th January 2015)

Kenya’s Civil Aviation Authority has reportedly granted Jambojet an initial one year license to fly from Nairobi into the wider Eastern African region. A regular aviation source in Nairobi confirmed that besides Entebbe was Jambojet also granted rights to fly to Juba, Kigali, Bujumbura and Addis Ababa. Further rights to Tanzanian destinations like Mwanza, Kilimanjaro, Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar, while granted by the Kenyan CAA, will however be harder to operationalize as this gives the Tanzanian CAA the long awaited opportunity to reciprocate the blocking of Fastjet’s application to fly from Dar es Salaam to Nairobi. Wrote a Dar es Salaam based regular aviation commentator:

The Kenyans have blocked a designated airline from Tanzania to give them landing rights in Nairobi. The current BASA, short for Bilateral Air Services Agreement, requires them to speedily approve such applications because Fastjet is a designated airline registered in Tanzania and meeting the ownership criteria. The Kenyans have also designated more than one airline to fly from Nairobi to Dar es Salaam but from our side they only allow Precision Air on the route. This is a violation of existing agreements. They also want to increase frequencies but we shall not entertain a unilateral move like this. Unless Fastjet is allowed to fly to Nairobi, the Kenyans cannot expect that Tanzania will let more of their airlines come to Dar while they block our airlines. The same of course applies for the other airports under our jurisdiction’.

No comments could be obtained from Kenya overnight, owing to ongoing travel, but it remains to be seen which routes Jambojet will first try to add to their list of domestic destinations, which include Mombasa, Eldoret and Kisumu. Jambojet operates a fleet of presently three Boeing B737-300’s which it leases from parent company Kenya Airways, which has retired its -300 fleet when converting two into freighters and leasing out the remaining aircraft to Jambojet. The Kenyan LCC operates the three Boeings in a single class economy configuration.

Experience from the Jambojet startup shows that Kenya Airways has yielded slots to their low cost subsidiary and in fact ceded all flights to Eldoret to Jambojet, while reducing the number of KQ services to Mombasa and Kisumu. Currently does Kenya Airways fly as many as 5 times a day between Nairobi and Entebbe and there is some speculation if some of these frequencies, especially off peak when there is more point to point traffic on the route than connecting traffic, may also be yielded to Jambojet to operate in code share with KQ.

For breaking and regular aviation news from Eastern Africa just watch this space.

3 Responses

  1. First it was FlySax from 9th Jan, We now have Rwandair effective 10th Jan and Jambojet to follow. This is the best news from the Ugandan market which has been going out of pocket with the high fares charged by KQ. I can only hope that the smaller players remain although I am afraid they will not stand the competition from the “Big Fish”. Bring on the lower fares…..

  2. I still don’t understand why East African CAAs are still fighting to protect their tuffs. Why can’t EAC operationalise a “Open Sky” policy over Africa Mashariki? I mean the market is puny compared to many other aviation markets, but imagine the immense potentials in open skies….So, again, the heavily regulated skies?

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