(Picture courtesy of Air Uganda)
With presently three flights a week between Entebbe to Mombasa and on to Zanzibar, Ugandas quasi national airline U7 is clearly intent to fill those 50 seats in the CRJ 200 they use on the route. Fares, excluding of taxes, begin at 99 US Dollars return, opening up the Kenyan coast or the beaches of Zanzibar for wannabe holiday makers. Air Uganda was only recently confirmed as East Africas most punctual airline when on time departure statistics became available from regional regulators from the destinations the airline is flying to in Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and the South Sudan including of course here in Uganda.
The fare though also highlights what has been said here time and again, that the regulatory charges and taxes heaped upon air transport in the region are unreasonably high and kept high through multiple layers of bureaucraZY pun fully intended and a fat cat mentality across the region with a sense of entitlement instead of service by national regulators as well as CASSOA. The tax inclusive fare of USD 284 shows that fees and taxes levied on the ticket of 185 US Dollars are nearly twice as much as the fare itself, a damning indictment of failed aviation policies in the region which make the use of air transport too expensive for most to even consider.
So it is bouquets for Air Uganda for their attempt to break down the price barriers and mega barbs for the regulators and respective governments for trying to turn a calf, i.e. the regions fledgling aviation industry, into a cow to milk.