Jambojet bets on Goma route in cargo push

Wednesday June 29 2022

Passengers board the plane at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) during the launch of Jambojet's direct flight to the eastern DRC city of Goma on September 10, 2021. PHOTO | LUCY WANJIRU | NMG


Jambojet has raked in sales worth Ksh11 million (about $93,400) since it launched cargo operations in Goma in January highlighting the demand for cargo business on the route.

The carrier, a subsidiary of Kenya Airways (KQ) says some of the cargo it has flown on the route within the period includes fresh produce, flowers and vegetables.

Other produce that have been transported by the low-cost carrier that has also been flying locally in Kenya since April 2014 are farm inputs and machinery.

A large volume of the products, Jambojet says is normally flown from Kenya to Goma, the capital of North Kivu province.

"We normally charge $2,500 (Ksh294,125) to ferry a tonne of cargo from Nairobi to Goma and $3,500 (Ksh411,775) per tonne in the opposite direction. Remember that out of the 35 tonnes of cargo transported between the two routes since January, 80 percent is from Kenya to Goma,” the airline told Business Daily on Tuesday.

The airline started cargo operations on the route in January after receiving regulatory approvals from the aviation regulator to fly goods on its passenger flights. The approval from Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) also saw the carrier start transporting cargo in local markets that include Kisumu, Mombasa, Eldoret and Malindi.


Read: Jambojet diversifies into cargo, eyes share of regional market

It has been using the Dash 8-Q400 type of aircraft that it is currently using to ferry passengers on its routes to transport cargo on its routes. The flight type that can accommodate up to 78 passengers can accommodate up to 1.5 tonnes of cargo on a single trip.

Cargo transported in the domestic market such as Mombasa from its hub in Nairobi that weighs less than 45 kilogrammes has been attracting a fee of $35 (Ksh4117.75).

"The charges exclude third party charges which include handling and screening payable directly to the ground handling agents,” said the airline's managing director Karanja Ndegwa in a past interview.

DRC market is currently served by the national carrier Congo Airways, which flies to eight domestic destinations, including Goma, Kinshasa and Lubumbashi.

The DRC route is becoming one of the favourite routes for carriers with airlines taking advantage of poor connectivity in that market.

Kenya, just like many other countries, is looking to leverage on the DRC market by diversifying its export destinations, particularly at a time the Covid-19-induced disruption has brought into focus the need for deeper inter-regional trade.

The airline is taking advantage of the huge opportunities the African market has to offer and the rising demand for air connectivity in the region.

$1 = Ksh117.75