Jambojet records Sh57 million six-month profit as domestic business picks

By: JAMES KARIUKI

Jambojet, a low budget airline which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Kenya Airways, has reported a successful turnaround in the six months of April to September 2015, recording a Sh57 million profit.

Jambojet’s Chief Executive Mr William Hondius attributed the major gain to their ongoing campaign in newly introduced routes where they have managed to lure first time fliers who now contribute up to 30 per cent of its business.

“Our introduction of the two Bombardier Q400 aircraft made it possible to add new routes resulting in an increase in customers.

“We now have more work and opportunity ahead to ensure more Kenyans can access affordable flights as we continue to execute our long-term plan,” added Hondius.

This is unlike the previous period under review in 2014 during which it posted a Sh237 million loss as it heavily spent on marketing the newly introduced routes.

RIGHT DOMESTIC FLIGHT MODELS

Mr Hondius said that Jambojet’s successful turnaround showed that low budget carriers were the right models for Kenya’s internal air passenger business, adding that since inception in April 2014, about 30 per cent of its passengers were first time flyers.

Saying Jambojet now commanded a 35 per cent market share in the Kenyan domestic market, the CEO said that more people had embraced flying from Nairobi to their rural homes while tourists also preferred using the low budget airlines that now directly fly to the newly constructed Ukunda Airstrip.

“The Ukunda airstrip has helped as gain traction with August 2015 hitting an all-time high of 10,800 tourists.

“It is a sure boost to our business and tourism in the coastal region.

“Jambojet will now be able to fly close to full capacity on its Bombardier Q400 aircraft which carries 78 passengers,” he said.

The depreciation of the Kenyan shilling against the dollar by 13 per cent compared to the same period in 2014 coupled with a decrease in fuel costs by 53 per cent were blamed for the Sh56 million loss.

The CEO said that Jambojet now had a solid base in Eldoret where it recorded a 50 per cent growth leading to an increase in flights to three daily flights a week except Sundays when it runs two flights.

SOURCE: DAILY NATION