The Board of Directors of Jambojet has confirmed Mr Karanja Ndegwa as the airline’s Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director. Mr Ndegwa, who has been acting since April 2020, was previously the chief financial officer of the airline. Mr Ndegwa officially takes over from Mr Allan Kilavuka, who was appointed the Kenya Airways Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer in April 2020.
“Since taking over as acting Managing Director, Mr Ndegwa has successfully steered the business, ensuring stability, continuity and growth amid the Covid-19 pandemic which has significantly affected the aviation industry,” said Mr Vincent Rague, the chairman of Jambojet Board of Directors. “Through his leadership, we are confident that he is best suited to take the airline to the next level in terms of growth and sustainability.”
Mr Karanja Ndegwa is a graduate of Economics and Statistics from the University of Nairobi as well as a Certified Public Accountant. He has a wealth of experience in financial planning and reporting, airline business/commercial strategy, capacity building, strategic management and revenue management, having spent over 20 years in various leadership roles within the airline industry.
Prior to joining Jambojet in 2014, he worked at Kenya Airways in different capacities, rising to the position of manager in charge of revenue accounting. He served as the Head of Finance at Jambojet, before being appointed the chief financial officer of the airline in 2016.
A statement from the airline said Mr Ndegwa has been instrumental to Jambojet growth, setting up the finance organization during Jambojet’s inception and has been involved in strategy development and implementation.
Jambojet is a regional low-cost airline that currently flies to seven destinations from its hub in Nairobi – Jomo Kenyatta International Airport – to Goma, Lamu, Mombasa, Eldoret, Kisumu, Malindi and Ukunda (Diani). The no-frills airline, launched in April 2014, became the only low cost carrier in Kenya to be awarded the coveted IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA registration) in July 2019.
In August 2018, Jambojet was ranked top airline in Africa with the youngest fleet by global aviation intelligence provider, CH-aviation. The airline is also the 2018 winner of the Bombardier Reliability Award for outstanding performance in dispatch reliability. Since inception, Jambojet has enabled affordable air travel for all, with first time flyers accounting for about 30% of its customers.
In the five years of operation, the airline has had an aggressive fleet expansion comprising of six brand new De Havilland Dash 8-400, regional growth with the introduction of flights to Goma effective 10th September 2021, and flown over 4 million passengers. This number is set to grow as more travellers appreciate the benefits of low-cost flying.