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Fly across Kenya with Jambojet at 3,000 Ksh (About 40 USD):The end of night-long bus travel

Updated on September 16, 2014
A Jambo Jet aircraft at Moi international airport, Mombasa
A Jambo Jet aircraft at Moi international airport, Mombasa


Road travel by bus or matatus still remains the preferred mode of long distance travel in Kenya, with most people traveling for business preferring to travel by night. However, with the introduction of cheaper and more affordable flights e.g by the Fly 540 airline, more Kenyans are warming up to air travel.
The Kenya aviation industry is steadily recovering from the effects of the global economic recession, thanks to the expanding global and regional trade and the transformation of Nairobi into the African hub of choice. It is for this reason that Kenya Airways, the pride of Africa, launched a subsidiary airline, the Jambojet airline, to take advantage of a growing clientele.

Jambo Jet has a number of destinations across East Africa
Jambo Jet has a number of destinations across East Africa

Jambo jet is a Kenya airways subsidiary airline meant to provide cheap local flights in Kenya. It has its hub at the Jomo Kenyatta International airport in Nairobi and currently offers flights to Mombasa, Kisumu and Eldoret, though also authorized to fly to the East African nations of Burundi, Comoros, Ethiopia, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Somalia, Madagascar as well as Mayotte. It is hoped that Jambo jet's flight services will be extended to other major towns in Kenya.

A Kenya Airways dreamliner. Kenya Airways owns the Jambo Jet airline
A Kenya Airways dreamliner. Kenya Airways owns the Jambo Jet airline
Jambo Jet's hub at the JKIA, Nairobi
Jambo Jet's hub at the JKIA, Nairobi

The airline is quite young, having been launched in April, 2014, but is quickly getting popular with Kenyans, largely because it provides cheap, affordable flights. Currently, the airline has three Boeing 737-300 air crafts and 24 employees. Jambojet checks in at the UNIT 3 of the Jomo Kenyatta International airport.

Travellers are encouraged to pay for flights via electronic systems through Mpesa, Airtel Money as well as VISA and Mastercard credit cards. (Visitors to Kenya might want to know what Mpesa and Airtel money are.) In addition to being cheap, Jambo jet is very convenient in that it allows both ID cards and passports for identification.With Jambo jet, a return flight from Nairobi to Mombasa will cost 6000Ksh which is about 3000Ksh cheaper than Fly 540's equivalent. For more payment details, you can visit the Jambo jet homepage.

How Jambojet manages to offer the cheap flights

Mombasa city
Mombasa city
Mombasa city is a key Jambo Jet destination
Mombasa city is a key Jambo Jet destination
  • Jambojet, being a subsidiary of Kenya Airways, outsources from its well established big brother. Jambo jet provides direct flights hence fore goes the cost of providing interconnecting flights.This way, the airline reduces baggage handling and transfer costs.
  • Unlike other airlines which usually have five crew members per flight, Jambojet keeps a cabin crew of three people.
  • Finally, Jambo jet does not provide free refreshments to its passengers.

The cons of flying Jambojet

  • The airline charges extra costs for luggage. Their charges for a suitcase stand at 5ooKsh which is about 6.5 USD.
  • Considering that Jambojet doesn't offer free refreshments, passengers have to meet the cost of consumables. Even then, their menu is not that pocket friendly.
  • Having a cabin crew of only three people exposes them (crew) to fatigue hence the quality of service is expected to be below par.

Tourists at a Mombasa beach
Tourists at a Mombasa beach
One of the many beach hotels in Mombasa
One of the many beach hotels in Mombasa

Despite these challenges, Jambojet comes in handy when compared to travelling the long journeys by bus. For example, while a journey from Nairobi to Mombasa by bus takes an average of eight hours, the same distance can be covered within fourty five minutes using Jambojet.

Jambojet is expected to revolutionize the travel industry in Kenya and so far, the airline is living up to its expectation. Kenyans, as well as Kenya airways, are expected to benefit from Jambojet's cheap flights. On the other hand, it will be interesting to see how long distance bus companies respond to competition. Perhaps, the rise of this new airline will lead to a reduction in the popular night bus tavel in Kenya.

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