3 January 2013

Kenya: Jetlink Set for the Skies Again

Nairobi — Jetlink will resume operations by the end of January after suspending its services for more than a month.

The airline's Commercial Manager, Ephraim Kamonjoh, told Capital FM Business they have resolved their cash flow problems by consolidating finances.

More than Sh173 million of the company's revenue from ticket sales has been tied up in South Sudan as they have been unable to convert it to US dollars.

Jetlink is the second largest Kenyan owned carrier after Kenya Airways and 350 nationals stood to lose their jobs had the airline gone under.

The airline flies twice a day, six times a week, to South Sudan's capital, Juba, ferrying between 50 and 70 passengers each way.

Problems began in January when the South Sudan government ordered oil companies to cease production of crude oil accusing Sudan of stealing it.

Ninety-eight percent of South Sudan's income comes from selling its oil.

The oil processing facilities are located in Sudan even as South Sudan got two-thirds of the oil fields when the nations split up.

Sudan's president Omar al-Bashir and South Sudan's president Salva Kiir, are expected to meet in Addis Ababa and hopefully bring the stalemate to an end.

In the nine months that led up to the firm suspending all its flights, the airline had been operating on credit facilities extended to it by Kenyan banks also operating in Sudan.

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