An open letter from Jambojet CEO Mr. Willem Hondius

Jambojet sets the record straight

(Posted 21st February 2017)

In our part of the world it is still very rare that a CEO takes to the public platforms to offer an unreserved apology for poor services, but
Willem Hondius, CEO of Jambojet, did exactly that, showing a remarkable courage by taking the bull by the proverbial horns as he
writes to all the airline’s customers, and the media, to take responsibility.
I wrote harsh critique at the time when the Jambojet schedule descended into chaos and left too many passengers stranded and
stuck in a mess not of their own doing, over the precious festive seasons holidays.
Now, I take my hat off to Willem and acknowledge that he has shown the mettle it takes to be a CEO in the harsh world of aviation
in East Africa.
Thank you Willem, I only wish many other CEO’s would step up too and accept failure instead of blaming customers and circumstances
when the buck in fact stops with them and with them alone.

We at Jambojet strive to deliver smooth and reliable services to all our passengers at all times, but unfortunately things have not gone according to plan in the past couple of months. We are truly sorry that we let you down and deeply regret the frustration and inconvenience this may have caused.

We experienced a spate of unforeseen operational challenges that led to the disruptions during the holiday season. These issues highlighted opportunities to improve our service delivery and overall customer experience; we recognize our responsibility to deliver a reliable service at all times. We are committed to you, our valued customers and are doing everything we can to make your experience with Jambojet one to remember for all the right reasons.

Based on your feedback, we are adjusting our processes in order to improve our service delivery. To this end, we already have introduced a brand new Bombardier Q400 next generation aircraft to further enhance flight schedule integrity, and look forward to even more additions to our fleet.

We know that an apology can only go so far, and customers have the right to exercise their freedom to choose any carrier for their travel needs. We are dedicated to take all necessary steps to deliver on our customer brand promise to fly you to your destination affordably and reliably.

We would like to thank you for your patience and understanding. The entire Jambojet team and I remain committed to serving you.


Willem Hondius
Managing Director & CEO


Condor Airlines endorses St. Ange candidacy


(Posted 21st February 2017)

Germany’s CONDOR Airline, a leading holiday carrier and part of the Thomas Cook Group, says Alain St.Ange is ‘in the top league by global comparison‘ and wish him all the best for his candidacy for the UNWTO Secretary General position.

Dr. Jens Boyd, the Commercial Director Long Haul for Thomas Cook Group Airlines Condor Flugdienst GmbH has come out with his support for the Seychelles Candidate Alain St.Ange for the post of Secretary General of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).

Dr. Boyd of Thomas Cook Group Airlines Condor writes in his endorsement letter: ‘As a leading European Leisure Airlines Group, we are happy to share our experience in working with former Minister Alain St.Ange of the Seychelles, with whom we were able to successfully grow tourism flows from Central Europe to his home country, and to the Indian Ocean Islands in general.
Alain has built an efficient national tourism board organization, established several events to draw global attention and rallied all local agencies and interest groups behind the objective of bringing more tourists to Seychellois shores. The best tourist leaders are working along the same lines, and this certainly puts him in the top league by global comparison.
What has set him apart from even that crowd in our eyes is an all-encompassing view to tourism development that does not stop at his own shores. Alain was actively promoting trips across multiple Indian Ocean Island nations or combinations with mainland Africa, seeing the benefits that a bigger Indian Ocean tourism can bring to all islands. The Vanilla Islands initiative is a pinnacle achievement in that respect and with the help of Alain and that initiative we were also able to increase our capacity to Mauritius.
Furthermore, as direct air access is and remains a critical part to developing tourism, Alain was an attentive listener and driver of a new national air services regime that allowed not only us, but also other carriers to build new air connections to the Seychelles. His willingness and ability to identify the critical issues, to discuss them with the various private and political parties, and to find mutually agreeable solutions in a broader context have set him apart from most other tourism leaders we work with. Not least his personality and energy were a key building stone in this success.
We wish him all the best for his candidacy for the UNWTO, and hope that he will bring this personality and energy to furthering tourism across the globe

Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Candidate for SG of the UNWTO has welcomed this latest endorsement coming from the Thomas Cook Group Airlines Condor Flugdienst GmbH, a leading European Leisure Airlines Group.
Said Alain: ‘Tourism is a global industry. It goes beyond our own borders and definitely way beyond our own continent’s borders. Recognition from the World of Tourism and today from a leading European Leisure Airlines Group is very encouraging as the Seychelles bid for the post of Secretary General of UNWTO gains momentum‘ commentedAlain St.Ange before adding that with his – Tourism for All – campaign line he will work tirelessly to make tourism the industry with equal opportunities for everyone immaterial of the colour of the skin, ethnic background, religious beliefs, political affiliation, any disability or sexual orientation. "This is the Seychelles commitment behind its bid for the Secretary General of the UNWTO‘.

Support for the Seychelles Candidate St.Ange continues to grow by the day. The Seychelles Candidate has already received Letters of Endorsement from President Danny Faure of the Seychelles, from Sir James Mancham, Seychelles founding President who wrote an open letter about his support for the Seychelles St.Ange bid for the United Nations just a week before he passed away, the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands Organisation (Comoros, Mayotte, Madagascar, Mauritius, Reunion and Seychelles), the Africa Ports Association of Eastern and Southern Africa (PMAESA), Tanzania Society of Travel Agents (TASOTA), the Seychelles Hospitality and Tourism Association (SHTA), Fred W. Finn, the World’s Most Travelled Person Guinness World Records, the Seychelles Hindu Kovil Sangam Association, India’s important N.R.I. Welfare Society, the Creole Travel Services of Seychelles and the Association of Tourism Professionals of Mauritius (ATP), Eden Island Seychelles, Bea Broda the known Producer/Writer/Host/Speaker from the Americas who wrote: One candidate that stands out to me is Alain St.Ange, the former Minister of Tourism of Seychelles. In the seven years that I have been familiar with his work, I have witnessed the extraordinary dedication, enthusiasm and visionary brilliance that resulted in his enormous success in this role. St.Ange took a relatively small island nation in the middle of the Indian Ocean and created a way to bring Seychelles to the forefront of global attention with the enactment of the Carnaval International de Victoria. This international event experienced six years of success, not only bringing interest and tourism to the nation, but proudly unifying all of the people who live there towards a common goal. In addition, St.Ange was a founder of the Vanilla Islands of the Indian Ocean, a consortium designed to combine the strengths of the islands located in the Indian Ocean to present a strong front in a competitive market. He has worked ceaselessly in the direction of the absolute success of those issues to which he cheerfully commits his time, and I would personally like to see someone with his considerable vision, dedication and creativity take the helm of an organization as influential to tourism as UNWTO, and Theresa St.John, the reputed Travel Writer who said ‘It’s not often that I have the chance to interact with someone who speaks so passionately about travel, tourism, and the people behind the ‘business of it’. The Rt. Hon Xavier-Luc Duval, former Deputy Prime Minister of Mauritius who had responsibility for Tourism and also a past president of the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands, now Leader of the Opposition in Mauritius, the Seychelles Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Gilbert Lamory, the Vice President responsible for Development for GIHP (Groupement pour l’insertion des personnes Handicapees Physiques) of France, Johnny Rohregger, the King of Travel, Hardy Lucas, a former political colleague of the Seychelles Candidate and now Germany’s Thomas Cook Group Airlines Condor Flugdienst GmbH, a leading European Leisure Airlines Group.
St. Ange was most recently in Uganda to attend the Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo 2017 and deliver his keynote address when the East Africa Tourism Platform launched their ‘Destination East Africa‘ web portal before traveling to Istanbul to drive his campaign forward.
This correspondent has taped an interview due for release tomorrow in which St. Ange answers candid questions about his candidacy, his vision for UNWTO and why he feels he is the right candidate among the other contenders.
Watch this space!

Brussels Airlines gets recognition from the Uganda Tourism Board


(Posted 21st February 2017)

Brussels Airlines, flying five times a week between the European capital and Entebbe, Uganda’s international gateway, has over the weekend been recognized, again, for their support of the country’s tourism industry.
During the Tourism Excellence Awards 2017, which formed part of the closing night of the Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo held in the Sheraton Gardens, was Brussels Airlines presented with a trophy for the airline’s loyalty to the tourism industry in the country, manifested through many joint marketing promotions but also reduced fare tickets to allow stakeholders travel to Europe for the main tourism trade shows.
Last year did Brussels Airlines scoop the airline of the year award at the same function only to be recognized again for services rendered.
Only last week did Brussels Airlines officially celebrate 15 years of flying to Uganda, following decades of services by Belgian flag carrier Sabena before, until that airline was dragged under by SwissAir at the time, prompting the formation of initially SN Brussels before rebranding a few years ago into Brussels Airlines.
In East Africa does Brussels Airlines serve Entebbe five times a week and Kigali six times a week with the added service continuing to Bujumbura.
Congratulations to Geert Lemmen and his team, in Kampala and in Entebbe, on the occasion to receiving the award trophy from the Uganda Tourism Board.

Themed food weeks in Kampala – Italy competes with Cuba


(Posted 21st February 2017)

As the 50th anniversary celebrations advance at the Sheraton Kampala Hotel is ti Cuban sounds which will form the background to a Cuban food week, unfolding as of tomorrow.
Kampala has of late become a hotspot of such activities with leading hotels competing with each other through ethnic food festivals and visiting chefs from renowned hotels and restaurants in Europe and beyond.
The latest on the list is the Cuban festival that will be hosted by Sheraton Kampala Hotel in partnership with the Cuban Embassy and sponsored by Turkish Airlines.

The one-week long festival will take place at Paradise Restaurant with lots of Cuban food choices, exotic Cuban cocktails, Havana rum, authentic Cuban cigars and off course entertainment from Cuban Band & baxmba waves and salsa dancers.

The festival officially starts on 22nd and will continue until the 26th of February.

The Cuban festival is the first of its kind in Uganda and I am proud to say Sheraton Kampala Hotel is the first hotel in Uganda to host the Cuban Festival and as a tradition we are always innovating and finding ways to serve our customers. The Cuban festival is to give our customers a different experience from the usual and thus want our customers to experience the Cuban culture right from the food to their music. The beauty about the Cubans they have an African touch in most of their living and this perfectly blends with us here‘ explained the General Manager of Sheraton Kampala Hotel Mr. Jean Philippe Bittencourt.

Sheraton Kampala hotel also recently announced its Golden Jubilee at Seven Hills (Rooftop) and the Cuban festival is an extension and one of the many festivals that have been lined up to celebrate the 50 years of creating great memories and these will be unveiled as the year progresses.

I encourage all our customers to come and celebrate with us the 50 years milestone through the different activities we shall have at the hotel just like this one. I also encourage all of us who have precious memories of Sheraton Kampala Hotel back in the years to share with us on all social media platforms using #SheratonMemories or they can physically bring their photos or videos here at Sheraton Kampala Hotel front desk and these will stand a chance to win awesome and memorable prizes from us‘ Jean Phillippe remarked in closing.

Meanwhile is ‘down the road‘ an Italian week in progress at the Kampala Serena Hotel, evidence that Uganda’s capital city is progressively emerging from the shadows of Nairobi where food and culinary offerings and variety has turned the Kenyan capital into a foodie destination in its own right.
Kampala may not as yet have the ethnic variety of Nairobi’s restaurants but the now annual Kampala Food Festival and the Kampala Restaurant Week have paved the way for more and more culinary events being staged.
For the rest of this week will Cuba compete with Italy but then, why not frequent both events and then share your experiences on social media with fellow Kampaleans.

Ethiopian Airlines chosen to host ICAO global training session in Addis Ababa


(Posted 21st February 2017)

Large Logo

Ethiopian Airlines confirmed that it will host the ICAO Global Aviation Training and TRAINAIR PLUS Symposium with the theme: ‘Together, Enhancing Training to Build Capacity‘ in Addis Ababa from April 11th through 13th.

The CEO of the Ethiopian Airlines Group, Mr. Tewolde GebreMariam, said yesterday: ‘It is a profound honour for all of us at Ethiopian Airlines to host the ICAO Global Aviation Training and TRAINAIR PLUS Symposium which brings major industry players together, to exchange best practices and experiences in human resources development and aviation training, and more specifically on the TRAINAIR PLUS Program for the advancement of the Global aviation. I believe this symposium will also be an opportunity for us to showcase our hospitality, the state-of-the-art Aviation Training facilities at our Aviation Academy and the key role Ethiopian is playing in the development of the African Aviation industry. While attending the symposium in this beautiful country, I would like to remind you all that you are coming back home because this is the land where it all began which is the land of Lucy, the 3.2 million-years-old Grandmother of humanity and the most complete skeleton of an early human ancestor ever discovered. Wishing you all a successful deliberation in the symposium, I recommend you to visit Lalibela; the beautiful rock-hewn churches well known throughout the world or Axum; the single granite stone of the Axum Obelisk or others of the mesmerizing tourist sites in the country if you may wish to take a side trip. Whatever your choice, I’m sure you will enjoy the unparalleled hospitality and the friendly people of, Ethiopia‘.

An estimated 400-500 expected participants will be taking part in the Symposium, including the ICAO Council President and the Secretary General, transport ministers, ambassadors, civil aviation and airport authorities, civil aviation officials, aircraft manufacturers, airline and airport operators, industry policy makers and tourism experts.

The Ethiopian Aviation Academy, the largest and most modern aviation academy in Africa, which is an ICAO TRAINAIR PLUS Member and Regional Training Centre of Excellence and an IATA Authorized Global Training Centre, is playing a vital role to address the growing need for Skilled Aviation professional in Africa and the region.

For more information on the symposium, please visit:

Ethiopian Airlines has offered a 20 percent rebate on fares for delegates and participants of the event from a suitable departure point to Addis Ababa and back home after the TRAINAIR PLUS Symposium.

KAA under the spotlight over allegations of collusion with ‘Yellow Cabs’


(Posted 20th February 2017)

(Forced payment extracted from an UBER driver by the Kenya Airport Authority)

The Kenya Airports Authority has come under sustained criticism over allegations that sections of the staff are colluding with Yellow Taxi drivers to keep unwanted competition out of the airport’s lucrative taxi business. This was further underscored when KAA issued a statement in the face of consumers and travellers strongly recommending the use of Yellow Taxis to which social media reacted with anger and derision.
Questions are now being asked if KAA would also clamp hotel limousines or other limousine services picking or dropping passengers from the airport when booked by said passengers or if the allegedly illegal act of clamping was only aimed against UBER drivers and vehicles.
This correspondent, given rather negative experiences with Yellow Cab drivers over pricing, regularly uses hotel limos or regular limo services for transport into the city and, not mincing words, resents any attempt to compel him or anyone to use specific service providers in this age of liberalized trade and services.
The proverbial s***storm on social media now also brought Kenya’s competition watchdog, the Competition Authority of Kenya on the scene, looking into allegedly restrictive, uncompetitive and broadly illegal measures by KAA. It is hoped the airport managers are put in their place and travelers are able to use service providers of their choice and according to tariffs they can afford and not be subject to extortion.
Said one regular contributor from Nairobi: ‘Such bad publicity, again to do with the airport where periodically issues have arisen with immigration, customs and security officials behaviour, is the last thing we need. They have a new boss who should know better how to improve the image of KAA and this was a low blow by them. They should not even try to mitigate this away, it was just a very bad move and got them into the cross hairs of our vocal local social media scene‘.
Another expressed his anger in words not fit for repeating that every time it rains passengers of vehicles are getting soaked when they have to leave the cars and walk across to the passenger check point outside the airport perimeter, as KAA has failed to put up extended roofs which could be uses by passengers to reach the building in dry condition and then afterwards also wait under a roof for their cars to pick them up.
This correspondent’s suggestion to travelers is to bring an umbrella, just in case though similar problems also exist in Entebbe where, when it rains, departing and arriving passengers can expect to be soaked, like it or not. Not the welcome or Kwaheri we ought to give to our visitors.

Seychelles Carnival combines with Festival Kreol from 2017 onwards


(Posted 20th January 2017)

News are now coming out of the Seychelles, confirming what has been an almost open secret, that the annual Carnival International de Victoria will be combined from later this year onwards with the Festival Kreol, both probably to be held in October this year with dates however still to be confirmed.
The Seychelles government has formed a special body, the ‘Creative Industries and National Events Agency‘ which is now tasked to organize such major events, leaving the Seychelles Tourism Board to concentrate on the generic marketing of the archipelago.

The CEO of the new agency, Mr. Gaelan Bresson, confirmed the ‘merger‘ of the Seychelles’ two most important festivals and word from Victoria has it that by doing so will the Festival Kreol be given new momentum while the Kreol culture will be more visible at the Carnival event.
Regular participants like the international troupes from Notting Hill, Brazil, the Caribbean and other parts of the world have been notified to give them ample time to prepare for a date later in the year.
The Carnival, launched in 2011, is largely seen as a brainchild of UNWTO Secretary General Candidate Alain St. Ange when he was CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board and has grown in popularity making the top five of the global carnival festivals in the space of just a few years.
For more information about Destination Seychelles click on

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