28 March 2014

Kenya: Low Fares Here for the Long Haul - Jambo Jet

Nairobi — Kenya Airways' (KQ) subsidiary Jambo Jet has assured that its prices will remain low for the long run in response to critics who questioned whether the low fares are sustainable.

Speaking to Capital FM Business during the Jambo Jet's launch, the airline's Chief Executive Officer Willem Hondius said he is working on maintaining the fares through driving costs down that include flying one aircraft type.

"If you look at other airlines they have four to five aircraft types. You have to manage those aircraft types, their spare parts, different pilots, for us we will only fly one aircraft type, the Boeing 737 from Kenya Airways, so we need only spare parts for one aircraft, then we will put as many seats as possible in that aircraft so the costs per seat goes down," he explained.

He said the airline plans to also use less cabin crew on board in a bid to further drive down costs.

Hondius says his aim is to make the fares as cheap as possible to allow many people to travel.

He projects that the airline that is set to begin its flights on April 1 will fly about 600,000 passengers this year.

"We aim at getting around 600,000 passengers on board this year, and in a couple of years time we expect to carry around two million passengers; we don't want to grow too fast, We first want to iron out everything now so that we are stable, we fly on time and that we have a good service," he said.

The airline will be flying to Eldoret, Kisumu and Mombasa routes from Nairobi and will charge Sh2,850 for a one way ticket. Earlier this month KQ announced that it will stop operations on the Nairobi-Eldoret route on Tuesday in favour of Jambo Jet.

Hondius revealed that KQ has also reduced its flights to Mombasa (two flights) and Kisumu (one flight) as Jambo takes over its customers on these routes.

He urged passengers to avoid the last minute rush and always book early as ticket charges for late bookings could cost more.

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