Jambojet has rescinded its decision to suspend flights to Lamu. This follows an announcement by the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) that repair works on the runway had been completed and the airline is now allowed to use the full runway in Manda Airstrip.
Jambojet CEO Willem Hondius said the refurbished runway will allow Jambojet to carry full capacity, thus bringing more passengers to Lamu.
“We are glad the Ministry of Transport in conjunction with the regulator have made it possible for us to fly back to the heritage-rich island starting January 15, 2016.”
“Furthermore, we are making changes to our schedules to introduce circular flights that will ensure non-stop flights for passengers between Nairobi and Lamu. This enables passengers for both Lamu and Malindi to fly non-stop on the routes,” he added.
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The move by Jambojet to introduce the circular flights is expected to boost the tourism sector considering that Lamu is an important attraction forming part of the coastal tourism circuit.
In 2015, the Island, which is listed among the UNESCO world Heritage sites, hosted more than 20,000 visitors. Currently, Jambojet flies Bombardier Dash-8 Q400 aircraft, which carries 78 passengers on the Lamu route. It launched flights to the coastal archipelago famous as a tourist attraction in March last year and says it has since seen passenger numbers rise despite the capacity limitations.
During the past period, the total number of passengers travelling to Lamu went up by 71 per cent compared to the previous year. Jambojet recorded a 17 per cent jump in passenger numbers for the nine months ended December compared to the same period in 2014.