Inaugural Flight Arrives in Entebbe, Uganda
Entry expected to boost regional tourism and business travel
Jambojet inaugural flight to Uganda touched down at Entebbe Airport at exactly 10.30am, ushering in renewed competition and a promise of lower air fares for frequent flyers in Uganda.
The inaugural flight was met by State Minister for Transport Hon. Aggrey Bagiire, Uganda Civil Aviation Managing Director Dr. David Kakuba, Uganda Tourism Board Managing Director Stephen Asiimwe and Jambojet CEO, Willem Hondius, amongst others.
With the entry, Jambojet will operate double daily flights with departures from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) at 09.10hrs and 17.30 hrs. The flight will depart Entebbe International Airport for Nairobi at 11.00 hrs and 19.20 hrs daily.
Speaking during the occasion, Jambojet CEO Willem Hondius said Jambojet introductory fare of USD116 is the lowest on the route and was intended to encourage more people to travel by air both in Uganda and the region.
“In East Africa alone, we have a market of over 100 million people and we have barely scratched the surface in air travel. We believe that Jambojet’s entry into Uganda will make air travel more affordable to majority of people who travel for business or leisure in the region and beyond.”
He noted that there is especially a huge opportunity for the tourism sector to develop products that are unique to Uganda and can be shared through a regional circuit. “In particular we expect the tourism industry to reap maximum benefit from facilitation of an EA Circuit which would give tourists an opportunity to visit scenic attractions in Uganda such as The Source of The Nile., Murchison Fall, Queen Elizabeth National Park and the Rare Mountain Gorillas in Bwindi National Reserve” he said.
The State Minister for Transport Hon. Aggrey Baiire noted that the growth of the air travel sector was important for the entire economy since it created opportunities for investment, capacity building and employment including creating linkages for better intra-regional trade.
“We need to build capacity to allow our local businesses to have greater access to foreign markets. Air transport and connectivity supports exports and simultaneously increases competition and choice in the home market from foreign-based producers. This in turn encourages firms to specialize in areas where they possess a comparative advantage, allowing for opportunities to exploit economies of scale, which lowers the cost of production and ultimately benefits domestic consumers” he noted.
The airline currently operates a relatively young fleet of four Dash 8 Q400 aircraft. The route will be served with the recently acquired 78 seater; turboprop Bombardier Next Gen Q400 as it plans to venture into other regional destinations.
The barely four-year-old airline which currently operates to Eldoret, Kisumu, Malindi, Mombasa, Nairobi and Ukunda has achieved undeniable business growth; increased numbers of routes from four to six, increased frequency of flights due to fleet expansion and flown over two million passengers.
A report by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) in 2017 revealed that African airlines’ traffic was expected to grow by up to 9.9 per cent annually. The report noted African airports continue to record positive performance, welcoming an increase in international arrivals that currently stand at 14 per cent.
Daily Flight Schedules:
Nairobi (NBO) to Entebbe (EBB) JM8520 departs 09:10 arrives 10:30
Entebbe (EBB) to Nairobi (NBO) JM8521 departs 11:00 arrives 12:20
Nairobi (NBO) to Entebbe (EBB) JM8524 departs 17:30 arrives 18:50
Entebbe (EBB) to Nairobi (NBO) JM8525 departs 19:20 arrives 20:40