Jambojet bets on new routes to net Sh10b in revenue

Jambo Jet Chief Executive Karanja Ndegwa.  [Denis Kibuchi, Standard]

Low-cost carrier Jambo Jet is targeting to hit Sh10 billion in revenue this year, riding on tourism’s post-pandemic recovery, an improving economy and the stabilisation of crude oil prices. 

Jambo Jet Chief Executive Karanja Ndegwa noted that last year, the airline recorded Sh7.5 billion in revenue which represented 42 per cent gross profit. The carrier is also targeting to increase its local market share from the current 47 per cent to over 50 per cent in 2023.

‘‘If you look at our financials when we were doing Kigali (Rwanda) and Entebbe (Uganda) routes, our figures were Sh5.6 billion. In 2022, without those regional routes, we have managed to cross Sh5.6 billion and we target to make Sh10 billion this year,” said Ndegwa during an interview at Jambo Jet offices. 

“That alone tells us that if we continued with those regional routes, we would not have achieved this revenue figure.” 

The airline, a subsidiary of Kenya Airways (KQ), operates seven DASH 8-400 plane models with four carrying 78 passengers each and three packing a capacity of 82 passengers. 

Mr Ndegwa hinted that the carrier would expand to fly two regional routes this year, having launched flights to Goma in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in 2021.

‘‘We have two new routes we are looking at. The board has approved and we have already done the applications. Now we are waiting for the government to finalise the applications with the other countries so that we launch them between the second and third quarter,’’ he said. Locally, he said they have no plans of adding more routes, including the new Kakamega route as it is of high altitude compared to the coast and has fewer passengers.

Ndegwa noted that domestic travel has been performing well recording over one million passengers last year with the Coast route being the most popular.  ‘‘2022 was a good year, and still a challenging one since we were still struggling with Covid-19 restrictions and the Russia-Ukraine war. The cost of fuel was 94 per cent above budget and the dollar shot about 28 per cent more,’’ he said.

He said the airline also hoped to grow its cargo business this year.

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