Competitors dismiss Jambojet’s reasoning for reducing flights to the coast
“This is complete bull,” ranted a regular aviation source from Nairobi when asked to comment on reports that Jambojet had cited issues with the runways in Lamu and in Ukunda as the primary reason
“This is complete bull,” ranted a regular aviation source from Nairobi when asked to comment on reports that Jambojet had cited issues with the runways in Lamu and in Ukunda as the primary reason for cutting back on flights.
“They simply overreached. Going daily to Malindi when Kenya Airways just upped flights to twice a day was at best uncoordinated and at worst a complete misjudgment of the traffic potential at this time between Nairobi and Malindi,” the source then added, while another waded into the fray by suggesting: “There are others which fly to Lamu and to Ukunda using a Dash-8 or an ATR even. I think the truth is that they want to use their leased Q400 to now fly Eldoret and Kisumu and simply do not have the capacity to fly twice a day to Ukunda or daily to Malindi or daily to Lamu. They were maybe too optimistic in their traffic projections and now pay the price and eat humble pie. This is simply a matter of competition taking its toll.”
The airline had cut back flights to Lamu from 7 per week to only 3 per week, operating only on Friday, Sunday, and Monday. The development had not been picked up by the Kenya mainstream media until now. At the time, some sources spoke of not yet enough traffic generated by the upcoming LAPSSET project, which, besides constructing a new deep sea port, also includes a railway, pipeline, and highway from Lamu to the north of Kenya before branching off to South Sudan and Ethiopia.
In addition, international tourist numbers were still low, while locals mostly traveled for long weekends and during children’s school holidays but not as much outside these time frames