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Jambojet hires GE executive as CEO

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The new Jambojet CEO, a Kenyan who has been
The new Jambojet CEO, a Kenyan who has been serving as Executive for global operations at General Electric (GE) Africa, is expected to take charge from January next year. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Regional low-cost airline Jambojet has appointed Allan Kilavuka as the new CEO, bringing to an end the five-year tenure of Willem Hondius.

The new CEO, a Kenyan who has been serving as Executive for global operations at General Electric (GE) Africa, is expected to take charge from January next year, becoming the second CEO for the Kenya Airway’s wholly-owned subsidiary.

Jambojet’s chairman Vincent Rague made the announcement yesterday.

“He has extensive knowledge and experience in the Africa business environment and has successfully delivered high outcomes at lower costs and led in driving efficiencies and simplification in his previous roles,” said Mr Rague.

Mr Kilavuka’s entry brings to an end Mr Hondius’ term that started in October 2013. Mr Hondius was instrumental in leading the introduction of Jambojet in the Kenyan market as the country’s first low-cost airline.

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The board has credited his leadership for growth in fleet size and he exits at a time Jambojet has announced the leasing of two new aircraft, adding to the Bombardier fleet of five.

“We are grateful to Mr Hondius for his exemplary service and leadership that put in place the necessary building blocks for a strong and successful low-cost airline. We wish him success in his future endeavours” said Mr Rague.

His successor, Mr Kilavuka, has over 23 years’ experience in leadership and management, having started his career at audit and advisory firm Deloitte.

He has been involved in new organisation set ups, change management, financial planning, integrations, process improvement and company compliance.

At GE, he has been in-charge of global operations for sub-Sahara Africa where he was responsible for the strategic leadership in developing the shared service model and designing organisation structure.

A Bachelor’s of Commerce (Accounting) graduate from the University of Nairobi and also a postgraduate certificate in Psychology holder from the University of Liverpool, Mr Kilavuka has also held various senior roles in GE both in Kenya and South Africa.

He now faces the task of receiving the two newly leased aircrafts in the second half of next year and putting them into service as Jambojet eyes an expanded footprint in East Africa.

The airline has increased its frequencies across its six destinations to accommodate the growing demand for affordable air travel and has hit the 2.5 million passenger’s mark, a record Mr Kilavuka will also be expected to exceed.

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