Kenya Airways bides time over Jambo Jet launch

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Kenya Airways is continuing to bide its time over plans for its new Jambo Jet low-cost operation, despite the imminent launch of services in the country by pan-African start-up FastJet.

A year ago the SkyTeam carrier outlined its intention to launch Jambo Jet to operate low-cost regional flights out of Nairobi, but has released precious few details on the project since.

Speaking in London at the World Travel Market trade show, Kenya Airways chief operating officer Mbuvi Ngunze said the carrier is still evaluating the project.

"The thing is, you have got to do things right. We are not apologetic about that. We want to look at all the options," he says.

The carrier has received an aircraft licence for the project based on Boeing 737-300s, though Ngunze says no final decision on aircraft type has been made.

Kenya Airways will shortly face a new low-cost competitor its in own backyard, when FastJet begins operations in Kenya - taking over the current Fly540 brand. Despite this new threat, Ngunze says the airline will not be rushed.

"We are still doing our homework. You need to make sure you don't just create a mini-KQ [Kenya Airways]. We will not react just because FastJet is coming in," he says.