COMPETITORS DISMISS JAMBOJET’S REASONING FOR REDUCING FLIGHTS TO THE COAST
(Posted 19th June 2015)
‘This is complete bull’ ranted a regular aviation source from Nairobi when asked to comment on reports that Jambojet had cited issues with the runways in Lamu and in Ukunda as the primary reason for cutting back on flights. ‘They simply overreached. Going daily to Malindi when Kenya Airways just upped flights to twice a day was at best uncoordinated and at worst a complete misjudgement of the traffic potential at this time between Nairobi and Malindi’ did the source then add while another waded into the fray by suggesting: ‘There are others which fly to Lamu and to Ukunda using a Dash – 8 or an ATR even. I think the truth is that they want to use their leased Q400 to now fly Eldoret and Kisumu and simply do not have the capacity to fly twice a day to Ukunda or daily to Malindi or daily to Lamu. They were maybe too optimistic in their traffic projections and now pay the price and eat humblepie. This is simple a matter of competitions taking its toll’.
It was reported here some time ago that the airline had cut back flights to Lamu from 7 per week to only three per week, operating only on Friday, Sunday and Monday. The development had not been picked up by the Kenya mainstream media until now. At the time did some sources speak of not yet enough traffic generated by the upcoming LAPSSET project, which, besides constructing a new deep sea port, also includes a railway, pipeline and highway from Lamu to the north of Kenya before branching off to South Sudan and Ethiopia.
In addition were international tourist numbers still low while locals mostly travel for long weekends and during the children’s school holidays but not as much outside these time frames.