Jetlink Express Ltd has until the first week of August to appoint a liquidator after failing to pay a debt amounting to over Sh4.5 billion to its creditors.
In 2010 received the Judges award during the Company of the Year Awards (COYA) for having refocused ‘its strategy to grow into regional and world class status.’
The same year, Jetlink was the 2nd runner up in two determinants in the Financial Management and Productivity and Quality Awards.
In 2008 it was ranked first in the transport category in a survey of Kenya’s Top 100 mid-sized companies conducted in 2008.
However, trouble begun to emerge in 2011 for the fleet.
Captain Elly Aluvale, Managing Director is on record saying,” In the year 2011, the highly volatile and unstable fuel prices, coupled with the depreciation of the Kenya shilling resulted in higher operating costs for Jetlink which ate into our projected profits for the year.”
“However, we are hopeful that the year 2012 will offer an attractive and favourable environment to enable us generate strong business results,” He added.
This was promising for a company that was incorporated in March, with a vision to be a domestic and regional airline.
Unfortunately, come November 2012, the company suspended all its flights due to its inability to access over US$ 2.0 million of its air ticket sales in South Sudan along its Nairobi-juba route.
In 2013, the Kenya Civil Aviation renewed its licence a move that was challenged by the debtors.
This was a blow as new entrants begun to eat into its market share. Jambojet had begun its flights in April positioning itself, as a low cost carrier, with early bookings.
The fleet tried to partner with Fastjet and Fly540 but both attempts were unsuccessful.
In July 2016, the company was wound up due to a debt amounting to over Sh4.5 billion owed to its creditors because the matter had stalled in court for 3 years with creditors waiting for their pay for 5 years.
High Court Judge Farah Amin, who delivered the judgment said, “In the course of this case, the company had numerous opportunities to pay but that did not happen. In view of the fact that this matter has been in court for over three years, I hereby order the company wound up. I have, however, allowed stay for seven days. The next step is to determine the costs, which will be fixed for next month,” she said.
Before its collapse, Jetlink plied Mombasa, Kisumu, Eldoret and Juba routes.
More creditors joined the suit claiming more than Sh554 million. The firms include Kenya Civil Aviation Authority, National Bank of Kenya, Aerotech Ltd, Kenol Kobil and Avmax Spares Ltd.