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JamboJet (KQA) is the low cost carrier (LCC) subsidiary of national flag carrier Kenya Airways (KEN). Domestic and international, passenger & cargo, domestic, regional and international operations.
Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta International (NBO)
KENYA (REPUBLIC OF KENYA) WAS ESTABLISHED IN 1963, IT COVERS AN AREA OF 582,535 SQ KM, ITS POPULATION IS 30 MILLION, ITS CAPITAL CITY IS NAIROBI, AND ITS OFFICIAL LANGUAGES ARE SWAHILI AND ENGLISH.
(IATA) code: JX. (ICAO) Code: KQA.
Route network: To one country, 7 destinations and 8 routes.
April 2015: JamboJet (KQA) a low cost carrier (LCC) subsidiary of Kenya's national carrier Kenya Airways was founded.
Jambojet (KQA) (CEO) Willem Hondius said JamboJet (KQA) was looking to acquire additional aircraft ahead of the launch of its maiden international flights. The Dutchman told "Shipping & Logistics" magazine that (KQA) was looking at either acquiring new or second-hand aircraft. Though he did not specify their type, Willem had in the past mentioned using 737-700s to replace its 737-300 fleet.
The Kenya Airways (KQ, Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta) (KEN) subsidiary initially operated 3 737-300s and 2 Bombardier Dash 8-400s (leased from (DAC) East Africa (JX, Nairobi Wilson)) on flights from Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta to Eldoret, Kisumu, Lamu, Malindi, Mombasa, and Ukunda locally.
January 2016: According to Willem Hondius (CEO), while JamboJet (KQA) posted a modest +KES57 million/+USD547,000 profit for the 1st half of its 2015/2016 Financial Year, an increasingly tight domestic market meant the low cost carrier (LCC) had decided to turn its attention abroad. As such, JamboJet (KQA) made plans to serve Entebbe/Kampala, Mogadishu, Juba, and Dar-es-Salaam initially before expanding further into East and Central Africa.
The exact date for the launch of international operations was unclear given that (KQA)'s most recent application for international traffic rights was deferred by the Kenyan Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA).
April 2016: "JamboJet (KQA) Sets Up Shop on Lamu Island."
JamboJet (KQA) the low cost carrier (LCC) is among private sector investors in the Lamu county. Travelers to and from Lamu County can now conveniently book their air tickets on Lamu Island. This follows the launch of the Jambojet (KQA) offices in Lamu. The launch of the new offices comes barely a year after (KQA) launched its maiden flight to the coastal archipelago; a renowned tourism destination.
Currently, Jambojet (KQA) flies the Bombardier (BMB) Dash-8 Q400 aircraft which carries 78 passengers on the Lamu route. Since the launch, the total number of passenger traveling to Lamu went up by +71% compared to the previous year. Speaking during the launch, (KQA) (CEO) Willem Hondius said the addition of the sales office will go a long way in ensuring that both residents of Lamu County and the tourists who frequent the island are able to conveniently access tickets to Malindi and Nairobi. “Beyond just enabling our customers to fly affordably, we are keen on offering convenience through our various booking platforms. One should be able to access us on phone, but still be able to reach our teams in case of any travel concerns,” he further explained. Currently, Jambojet (KQA) flies daily to and from Nairobi with either outbound or inbound stops in Malindi.
Commending the move by (KQA), Lamu County Governor Issa Timamy said that the new office is a big boost to the tourism infrastructure of Lamu County, “As the county government, we continually encourage partnerships with private sector investors, to enable us package competitive bouquets for both domestic and international tourism.”
Last year, the Lamu County Government set aside 73 million shillings to revive the tourism sector in the region. This was a +95% increment from the previous fiscal year and was aimed at boosting the sector whose growth bore the brunt of travel advisories from key global source markets.
June 2016: Jambojet (KQA), Kenya’s only low cost carrier (LCC) has appointed Karanja Ndegwa, as its Chief Financial Officer (CFO). “Ndegwa has been promoted to augment the team as we scale up operations in our current destinations to promote local tourism, to aid county based businesses, as well as prepare to take off into new destinations across the region,” (KQA) (CEO) Willem Hondius said.
“Karanga is not new in this business. He joined Jambojet (KQA) in 2014 as the Head of Finance, and was responsible for setting up the Finance department, said Willem.
The appointment was effected on June 1, 2016.
Karanga previously worked for Kenya Airways (KEN) for 8 years where he held several positions including Manager Revenue Accounting. During his stay at (KEN), Karanga was the Revenue Accounting Manager at Subsidiary Precision Air, in Tanzania. He is an economics and statistics graduate from the University of Nairobi as well as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).
“We are fortunate and excited that Karanga has joined the Jambojet (KQA) team as he brings a wealth of experience and understanding of the airline industry which will greatly strengthen our team as we continue to build a world class, low cost air transportation network,” Willem said.
On his part, Karanga said: "I am delighted to be taking up this role at Jambojet (KQA) at this very exciting stage of the (KQA)’s journey. I am looking forward to continue working with the team as we seek to deliver convenient and affordable air transport in this market.”
In the 2 years of operation, (KQA) the no-frills low cost brand of Kenya Airways (KEN) has achieved undeniable business growth; increased numbers of routes from 4 to 7, increased frequency of flights due to fleet expansion and having have flown >1 million passengers.
December 2016: Jambojet (KQA) has chartered an ERJ-145 from Aircraft Leasing Services (ALS) ((IATA) Code: K4, based at Nairobi Wilson) to cover the absence of 1 of its 2 (DAC) East Africa leased Bombardier (BMB) Dash 8-400s.
April 2017: Moscow-based lessor Ilyushin Finance (IFC) has converted a Bombardier Dash8-Q400 option into a firm order, taking its order to 2 of the type, to be placed with Kenya Airways (KEN) low cost carrier (LCC) subsidiary Jambojet (KQA).
“This agreement for these next generation turboprops signifies a key development in (IFC)’s international leasing business. The demand for high-performance turboprops, such as the Dash 8-Q400, continues to expand,” (IFC) Director General Alexander Rubtsov said.
Jambojet (KQA), which operates Kenyan domestic flights from Nairobi, is expected to take delivery of the 1st leased Dash 8-Q400 aircraft in May and the 2nd aircraft later this year. “The Dash 8-Q400 aircraft’s performance has exceeded our expectations on all fronts,” (KQA) (CEO) Willem Hondius said. “The Dash 8-Q400 turboprop has helped us optimize and expand our operations and is undeniably the backbone of Jambojet (KQA)’s growth strategy.”
The 2 additions will increase the African Q Series fleet to >120 aircraft, including about 70 Dash 8-Q400s.