Kenya’s Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) has granted Jambojet a subsidiary of Kenya Airways an international Air Services License (ASL) following an application lodged earlier this year.
The ASL, which is valid for one year from May 4, 2017 onwards, is restricted to the use of B737, DHC-8, and ATR72 equipment.
The budget carrier is now eligible to operate scheduled international air services out of Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta to/from each of Entebbe/Kampala (Uganda), Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), Dar-es-Salaam, Zanzibar, Kilimanjaro, and Mwanza (Tanzania), Kigali (Rwanda), Juba (South Sudan), Bujumbura (Burundi), Hargeisa and Mogadishu (Somalia), Goma and Kisangani (Democratic Republic of Congo), Moroni Int’l (Comoros), and Lilongwe and Blantyre (Malawi), subject to designation by the Kenyan Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure, Housing & Urban Development.
Jambojet’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Willem Hondius told Kenya’s Standard that despite the allocation, no date for the launch of international operations has yet been set. Hondius added that once the ball does start to roll insofar as their launch is concerned, the flights will complement, rather than compete with, Kenya Airways’ operations.
“We will not be in competition with KQ,” he said. “All flight routes and schedules will be agreed upon after consultations.”
Speculation is that Jambojet will be deployed on flights to Rwanda and Ethiopia where rivals RwandAir (WB, Kigali) and Ethiopian Airlines (ET, Addis Ababa) are able to undercut Kenya Airways owing to their lower cost bases.
In the past, Hondius has also pointed to the addition of relatively new aircraft to Jambojet’s fleet ahead of the launch of international flights. In October 2014, the Dutchman was quoted as saying studies had focused on using the B737-700 to replace Jambojet’s ageing fleet of B737-300s, leased from Kenya Airways.