KCAA Director- General Gilbert Kibe. FILE PHOTO | NMG Budget carrier Jambojet is seeking approval to fly between cities in Kenya without stopping at its hub in Nairobi and also expand into cargo business.
If it secures the regulatory nod, the carrier, for instance wants to fly directly from Mombasa to Kisumu and from Kisumu to Eldoret- Malindi-Lamu.
Jambojet is also seeking permission to expand its existing international destinations, which could see it fly to Dare Salaam, Zanzibar, Moroni, Bujumbura, Addis Ababa and Goma if the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) grants the approval.
"We are waiting for the comments from the public before taking it to our board for approval. Once it is approved, then they will immediately commence," said KCAA Director- General Gilbert Kibe.
Mr Kibe said the airline is seeking permission to open other bases in regional cities such as Mombasa and Kisumu.
Currently, Jambojet flies to two international destinations in Kigali and Entebbe. The airline, a subsidiary of the Kenya Airways , had planned flights to Mogadishu but did not get the desired time slot, hence suspended the route.
In a gazette notice dated May 29, Jambojet also announed that it wants to vary its licence so that it could also enter into cargo business. At the moment, the airline only carries passenger cargo, operating from its base at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).
The fresh request comes at a time when the aviation industry is in turmoil following the disruptions caused by the Covid-19 that has seen airlines grounded.
It is not clear how Jambojet will manage the Addis Ababa route given that it is dominated by Ethiopian Airlines, which offers relatively lower price on tickets when compared with other carriers.
The carrier has been expanding its fleet and last year acquired four new aircraft as it sought to expand to regional countries.
According to the gazette notice, the airline will use aircraft B737, implying that the carrier plans to acquire a new high capacity aircraft for regional routes.It will also deploy DHC8 and ATR72 based at the JKIA and Mombasa, meaning that Jambojet will have some of its airplanes based at the coastal city.The Nairobi- Kigali route began in November last year while the Entebbe route started in 2018.The airline has said before it sought to enable more passengers to fly affordably and reliably from its hub in Nairobi to the two destinations.