Jambojet, Kenya’s budget airline, made its inaugural flight to Kigali on Monday effectively becoming the first low cost carrier to fly the route.
Jambojet’s De Havilland 8D (5Y-JXL) touched down at Kigali International airport at 3:33PM on Monday to a triumphant water gun salute, followed by ribbon cutting.
“Today we mark a major milestone in our regional expansion strategy. Our aim is to grow our footprint across the continent, while offering a unique product for these markets. We expect that our low-cost model will enable more people to fly affordably, conveniently, and safely,” said Jambojet Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Allan Kilavuka.
Mr. Kilavuka said the decision to start flying to Kigali was informed by the need to tap into Rwanda, which is increasingly becoming a vibrant harbor for many Kenyans and the country’s close ties with Kenya.
The Airline will be flying once daily from its hub at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, to Kigali International Airport.
Kenya’s Cabinet Administrative Secretary for Tourism Joseph Boinnet welcomed the move, adding that it will go along way in boosting the country's tourism sector.
“We are proud of our local airline Jambojet for this far it has come, and I am confident that Kenyans, Rwandese and other tourists will be able to travel to Kenya and Rwanda more often and get to experience what the two countries have to offer thus boosting our tourist sectors,” said Boinnet.
Since early this year, Jambo jet has been on a roll. The airline’s newest De Havilland Dash 8-400 aircraft was among 165 aircraft exhibited by leading manufacturers at the 2019 Dubai Airshow.
The airline was also awarded the 2018 Bombardier Reliability Award for outstanding performance. Jambojet was also the only African airline among the thirteen airlines from around the world that were recognised.
Currently, the airline founded in 2014, flies to five local destinations including Malindi, Ukunda, Mombasa, Kisumu and one regional destination Entebbe, Uganda.
Jambojet is also eyeing South Sudan, Mogadishu, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo, Union of the Comoros and Malawi.