Tuesday, January 22, 2013

► KENYA: Jambo Jet to possibly launch after Q1 as fastjet encounters more law suits.

Kenya AirwaysfastjetDespite being granted an Air Service Licence in October 2012 by the Kenyan Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) for the launch of its low-cost subsidiary, Jambo Jet, Kenya Airways has yet to make headway with the carrier's launch. Competitor fastjet (FN) has also not had an easy time with news that the Tanzania-based LCC is facing increasing problems with its predecessor, Fly540's, creditors.

Kenya Airways' (KQ) Communications manager, Chris Karanja, in an interview with Ugandan paper, The Monitor, was mum on a specific date regarding JamboJet's possible launch, adding that a team was reviewing the project with a presentation due before the end of Q1, implying a probable launch of Q2 onwards.
He said: “We are not ready to share this information. A team was hired to have a review of this project. This team should be able to provide some indications and insights before the end of the first quarter of this year. I am not sure about when we will launch because this will only depend on the report from the team.
Source [The Monitor]

Fastjet on the other hand are facing recurring problems with Fly540's creditors. Reports now state that the LCC is facing a lawsuit brought by the Ugandan Civil Aviation Authority against Fly540.

According to The Telegraph, the UCAA asked Fastjet to respond to its complaint relating to invoicing within 14 days of the summons on December 13 last year otherwise, said the UCAA, it may proceed with the suit and “judgment may be given in [Fastjet’s] absence”. 

In October, Fly540 was involved in two law suits. Nairobi based aviation fuel company, Finejet Ltd, filed a petition at the Nairobi High Court seeking the dissolution of Fly540 saying that it "allegedly failed to settle a debt of USD630'000 (KES55million) in USD20'000 (KES1.7 million) a week in installments." Lufthansa Technik, the subsidiary of the German national carrier, brought a USD1.1million lawsuit over engine repair costs and obtaining an order stopping Fly540 from selling an aircraft engine it had serviced.

Whilst its Kenyan operations may be on the backburner for the meantime, fastjet has reiterated that new regional routes to Entebbe in Uganda, Johannesburg in South Africa and Moroni in the Comoros Islands should be announced in the next few weeks.