This latest row is expected to sour diplomatic and economic relationships that the two countries enjoy.

The stalemate has left passengers who had booked the maiden flight to Bujumbura stranded and without recourse after Jamboject failed to get the necessary approvals, leading to flight cancellation.

This was despite the fact that Burundi authorities had on September 13, authorised Jambojet to fly to Bujumbura.

Last week, Jambojet made a plea to the authorities for the necessary approvals to enable it fly but got no response.

CANCEL FLIGHTS

“Based on this authorisation (September 13), we filed our schedule…to get approval for the actual operation which was to start today (Wednesday) …to our surprise we didn’t receive the expected approval based on the fact that Jambojet operates Bombardier DHC8-Q400 aircraft, which is the only aircraft type Jambojet is operating,” said Mr Hondius in a letter to Burundi’s Ministry of Transport and copied to the Director-General of the Burundi Civil Aviation Authority and the Kenyan Ambassador to Burundi.

“Unfortunately and much to our frustration we had to cancel today’s operation to Bujumbura and disappoint all passengers who expected to travel (Wednesday) on this flight.”

Last week Jambojet announced that it had leased two new Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 aircraft from global aviation company Chorus Aviation Capital for deployment on local routes.

The new aircraft will be joining the Jambojet fleet, which currently comprises five Bombardier Q-series.

Both aircraft are scheduled to be delivered and enter service in the second half of 2019.

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