A woman boards an airplane belonging to the Kenyan budget airline Jambojet, during the launch of a new flight to the Eastern DRC city of Goma, at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi, Kenya, September 10, 2021. REUTERS/Edwin Waita
NAIROBI, Sept 10 (Reuters) – Kenya’s first low-cost airline, Jambojet, started a flight service to the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo city of Goma on Friday, it said, looking to tap into a projected jump in demand for air travel in Africa.
The carrier, which was launched in 2014 and is owned by national airline Kenya Airways (KQNA.NR) , expects Africa to become one of the fastest growing regions for aviation in the world in the next two decades, with an average annual expansion of nearly 5%.
"We want to be part of the growth," said Vincent Rague, Jambojet’s chairman.
Other Kenyan firms, including its biggest banks Equity and KCB Group, are also expanding into the Democratic Republic of Congo, a relatively untapped market.
Jambojet will fly into Goma, the capital of North Kivu province, twice a week from its Nairobi hub, before increasing to four times a week with time.
The carrier operates a fleet of six De Havilland Dash 8-400 planes and currently serves six local destinations from its Nairobi hub, including popular resort towns along the Kenyan coast.
It embarked on an expansion drive three years ago to double the number of passengers it carries annually, but some of those plans were delayed by the onset of the pandemic early last year.