Jambojet starts direct flights to Goma, DRC
BUSINESS: Jambojet made its maiden flight to Goma in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in a move set to open up the region to tourism and business opportunities for Kenyans eyeing the mineral-rich country.
The Kenya Airways subsidiary seeks to provide a shorter and faster alternatives for travellers to the North Kivu province, south of the active Nyiragongo Volcano, and on the shores of Lake Kivu.
Banking on its low-cost mantra, the carrier will connect Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) to Goma International Airport on Monday and Friday. However, this is set to increase to four times weekly, as demand soars.
Jambojet CEO Karanja Ndegwa said the twice-weekly flights to Goma will expand the carrier’s footprint in Africa, as it plans to increase the frequency of trips from Nairobi.
“We have an ambitious plan to grow our network, and we are proud to be the first low-cost airline to venture into this route,” he said during the inaugural flight launch.
Kenya’s Ambassador to Kinshasa George Masafu encouraged more Kenyans to take advantage of the route and tap opportunities, especially in manufacturing, mining, agriculture and tourism sectors.
“We are in active discussions with the administration here on how to make it easier for investors to come in and also use legislation to protect business,” he said.
Jambojet joins other firms that are operating in DRC like Equity Bank, Jubilee Insurance, Mayfair Insurance and KCB Group.
Ndegwa said for the new route, the challenge will be to deepen the new low-cost pricing of a round trip between Nairobi and Goma at $397 (Sh43,670) on an initial promotional offer, against renowned legacy pricing models.
The one-way flight with the carrier will cost $190 (Sh20,900) from Goma to Nairobi and $207 (Sh22,770) from Nairobi to Goma.
Meanwhile, Kenya Airways yesterday signed an aircraft lease agreement and begun operating a cargo codeshare partnership with Congo Airways.
The agreement will see the national carrier lease two Embraer E190 jets to Congo Airways, boosting domestic operations and flight frequencies in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
It also commenced direct cargo flights from Johannesburg to Lubumbashi yesterday.