Fastjet Plc, a London-listed airline that aims to offer low-cost services across Africa, has applied for a licence to operate in Kenya.
The airline recently registered a company in the country, Fastjet Kenya, which is now seeking approval to operate.
Fastjet said the subsidiary is 51 per cent owned by a Kenyan national in compliance with local airline ownership regulations.
Its licence application is yet to be gazetted by the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority for public input, with the regulator having indicated it would do so by last Friday.
"We have submitted a comprehensive application to the authorities who have confirmed that Fastjet Kenya has entered the approval process. We look forward to bringing the Fastjet operation to Kenya, offering our market stimulating fares, our excellent on time performance and friendly service," the airline's CEO Ed Winter said in a statement.
The carrier has been long expected to launch budget flights in Kenya but has had a series of hiccups in its quest. It first sought entry into the market through a joint venture with budget airline Fly540 but has since severed links to go it alone locally.
The two partners disagreed over debt inheritance after several months of negotiations.
Successful launch of Kenyan operations will place Fastjet in direct competition with and Fly540 and Jambojet, a 'no-frills' low-cost subsidiary of Kenya Airways.