Jambojet, the low cost brand of Kenya Airways, today reported financial results for the first six months ending September, recording a profit of KES 57 million compared to a loss of KES 237 million during the same period last year.
Jambojet’s results show that for the period between April and September, the number of seats flown decreased by 6.6% while the number of passengers carried increased by 14% resulting in an increase in load factor to 75% versus 60% last year.
We are very proud of these results. I'm delighted that after the startup losses during our first six months in 2014, we have now achieved a healthy growth margin during the first six months of this year. Due to our low cost model, we are able to offer very affordable fares and show a positive result at the same time,” said Jambojet CEO William Hondius.
The Kenyan Shilling depreciated against the dollar by 13% compared to the same period in 2014 as fuel costs decreased by 53%. The combination of the lower fuel cost and the stronger dollar diminished returns by KES 56 million.
Jambojet has seen solid progress in growth, increasing its daily flights to Eldoret by 50%, each way, and now flies three times daily to Eldoret, except Sundays when it has two flights a day.
Our introduction of the two Bombardier Q400 aircraft made it possible to add new routes resulting in an increase in customers. We now have more work and opportunity ahead to ensure more Kenyans can access affordable flights as we continue to execute our long-term plan,” added Hondius.
Jambojet’s commercial initiatives continue to gain traction with the recent completion of the runway extension at Ukunda Airport by Kenya Airports Authority which will help boost business and tourism in the coastal region. Jambojet will now be able to fly close to full capacity on its Bombardier Q400 aircraft which carries 78 passengers.
Since introducing flights to Ukunda, passenger numbers have more than doubled with an all-time high in August this year of 10,800, putting the carrier on the right trajectory to stem the erosion in operating revenues by end of the financial year.
Jambojet’s profits show that the low cost model works in Kenya and that travellers understand and have embraced it. Since inception in April last year, about 30% of the carrier's passengers are first time flyers. Jambojet now holds a 35% market share in the Kenyan domestic market.