Jambo Jet to start operations on 1 April

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Jambo Jet is to inaugurate its first service, between the Kenyan cities of Nairobi and Kisumu, on 1 April, says chief executive Willem Hondius.

The low-cost Kenya Airways subsidiary will operate a domestic network from Nairobi in its first year, serving Eldoret 10 times a week, Mombasa five times a week and Kisumu twice a week.

It will operate two Boeing 737-300s sourced from its parent, and indicates that a third is available in reserve should demand require it.

Kenya Airways itself already operates on the Kisumu and Mombasa routes.

Jambo will “most probably” expand into international operations in its second year of operations, with services to Zanzibar, Kilimanjaro, Dar es Salaam, Kigali, Entebbe and Addis Ababa, says Hondius. The airline expects passenger numbers to reach 650,000 passengers in its first year of operations.

“Low-cost carriers are new for this part of the world, and that is quite a challenge, but we feel the market is ready for this business model,” says Hondius.

Passengers will be allowed one 10kg piece of hand luggage for free but will be charged for hold luggage, allocated seating, and food and beverages.

The fleet will be repainted in Jambo livery in March by South Africa-based Pical.