FLY DUBAI IS ENTEBBE BOUND
(Posted 27th August 2014)
The first indication of Fly Dubai eyeing flights to Uganda came to light when Air Uganda’s Travel Centre changed hands, reportedly with a little help from a senior member of the Air Uganda board, itself an interesting pointer to the future of U7, or rather the non-future considering that their prime sales premises are now gone. There is added speculation from sources at Entebbe International Airport that at least some of Air Uganda’s airport offices might also go to Fly Dubai, affirming earlier mention of this possibility in one of the articles written over the past weeks about Air Uganda’s gutting by the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority, which is notably also the main manager of the airport.
Fly Dubai, one of the Gulf’s leading low cost carriers, has in the recent past relatively slowly advanced into Africa and travelers from Uganda will no doubt take immediate advantage of their very low fares, giving the other full service Gulf carriers like Emirates and Qatar Airways a run for their money.
While owned by the government of Dubai is the airline notably not part of the Emirates Group but a standalone business enterprise. Launched in 2008 and commencing flights in mid 2009 with a single B737-800NG has the fleet now grown to 38 aircraft, with large orders still pending, and flies to 68 destinations. Late last year was Fly Dubai among the first LCC’s to introduce a dedicated business class cabin to cater for a growing number of frequent flyers who had asked for better comfort levels on the airline’s flights. A preview into the future of Fly Dubai should be possible by looking at their order placed with Boeing during last November’s Dubai Air Show when the carrier signed for up to 100 next generation B737MAX as well as a further 11 B737-800NG’s.
Fly Dubai, with IATA two letter code of FZ and their callsign Sky Dubai, presently already serves Africa with flights to Addis Ababa, to Juba, to Khartoum and Port Sudan apart from several destinations in Egypt but it was long expected that a further rollout into the lucrative East African travel market was only a matter of time, on one side depending on new aircraft deliveries where the airline flies a uniform fleet of B737-800NG’s and on the other depending on the projections of market shares and passenger numbers, considering that rival Air Arabia already flies daily to Nairobi.
While other airline were understandably reluctant to discuss the arrival of yet another competitor, so were individuals thought to be joining Fly Dubai at Entebbe and in their town office, perhaps trying to prevent the jumpstart of telling the news ahead of Fly Dubai’s own PR and Corporate Communications Department being able to tell their story. Well, now that everyone reading this will know it will only be a matter of time before the airline will issue an official statement and confirm the number of flights, arrival and departure times and most importantly their launch fares.
Watch this space for breaking and regular aviation news from across Eastern Africa.