Etihad eyes Entebbe but cargo flights only, for now


(Posted 24th May 2014)

Etihad, Abu Dhabi’s national airline, will from the 26th of May commence regular cargo flights between Abu Dhabi and Entebbe, Uganda’s main aviation hub. The flight, initially one per week, will be using an Airbus A330-200F with a capacity of 64 metric tons and operate nonstop between the two cities.

According to information received from a source close to Etihad’s Nairobi office does Etihad Cargo expects the service to carry large quantities of electronics and textiles to Entebbe. The return flight is expected to uplift primarily perishable goods like chilled lake fish, meat products, fruits and vegetables destined for the Gulf region and Europe.

Kevin Knight, Etihad Airways’ Chief Strategy and Planning Officer, was, when making the announcement of the new flight, quoted to have said: ‘Uganda is an important market for Etihad Cargo, and the new Abu Dhabi-Entebbe freighter service will allow us to capitalise on the strong import and export demand to and from East Africa.In addition, whilst we expect to see strong onward trade flows over our Abu Dhabi cargo hub to destinations across the Middle East, subcontinent and Europe, ultimately this service will further strengthen the trade ties between the UAE and Uganda’.

Etihad Cargo presently offers services to 103 destinations internationally, operating a fleet of nine freighters, consisting of three Airbus A330-200F, three Boeing B777F, and three Boeing 747F. In June 2014, the cargo operator will take delivery of one more brand new freighter – an Airbus A330-200F.

Etihad does not as yet operated passenger services from Abu Dhabi to Entebbe and the launch of cargo flights offers the prospect that sooner or later Abu Dhabi’s national airline may enter the Ugandan market. In East Africa it is right now only Nairobi / Kenya Etihad is serving with double daily flights, operated on code share with Kenya Airways. Watch this space for breaking and regular aviation news from the East African region.

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