To increase passenger volume on its Entebbe–Johannesburg route and gain access to the southern African market as a whole, Uganda Airlines plans to increase the frequency of its flights and enter into an interline agreement with South African Airways (SAA), the country’s flag carrier.
According to the officials, the airline decided to add a fifth flight to their service on March 1 in order to support their expanding cargo business and to stop the flow of traffic that was going to their competitors.
According to the revised timetable, flights will now depart and arrive on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday in addition to Saturday.
“The route has a lot of potentials because there is a strong demand for travel for things like business, conferences, education, and leisure. According to Shakila Lamar, the manager for corporate affairs and public relations at the carrier, “We are looking to develop this route in order to support these market segments.”
She goes on to say that the potential of the route had been somewhat hampered by the fact that the carrier was unable to offer onward travel to destinations in South Africa and the southern Africa region in general that were further afield than Johannesburg.
However, this will change in the not-too-distant future when Uganda Airlines begins operating an interline with South African Airways, which will expand the airline’s service area beyond Johannesburg.
Significant losses of vehicular activity
A “significant leakage” of traffic was occurring as a direct result of travellers’ propensity to make reservations at the last minute along the route. It is anticipated that a more stringent schedule that provides passengers with additional options for travel on the carrier will consolidate passenger traffic.
It is anticipated that there will be an increase in demand as a result of South Africa and Uganda relaxing or removing travel restrictions related to the Covid19 virus for vaccinated travellers.
The Mitsubishi CRJ900 will be used to operate services on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday. However, an Airbus A330-800 will be used for service on Friday.
According to Shakila, this is because there is a high demand for cargo on the outbound leg, which is being driven by an increase in the export of fresh fruits and vegetables. In addition to beef and legumes, the list of Ugandan exports destined for South Africa is likely to expand in the near future.
The Uganda and South Business Forum for this year came to a close at the end of February in both countries. During the course of the event, Ugandan businesses were able to secure commitments for more than one million tonnes of produce.
According to what Shakila shared with AirInsight, “We are looking into improving connectivity, and we could even go daily as the loads pick up.” Uganda Airlines is getting closer to making a decision regarding the expansion of its fleet with a type of medium-sized aircraft.