How is American business doing in Uganda?


(Posted 27th September 2014)

Sheraton Kampala’s Rwenzori Ballroom was filled to capacity with nearly 50 exhibitors earlier this week, and notably a few companies with close ties to the country’s tourism industry.

Apart from the Sheraton, which of course is one of the best known American global hotel brands, did Delta Airlines and AirServ, among several others, exhibit and showcase their services on offer in the Ugandan market place.

Delta, flying in codeshare with KLM as well as with Kenya Airways, opened an office in Kampala some four years ago and has since been actively selling tickets, connecting with SkyTeam partner airlines Kenya Airways and KLM out of Entebbe into Amsterdam, London, Lagos and Monrovia, where passengers can then connect into the United States on Delta flights to their final destination. Delta has, according to one of their local staff, been eyeing flights into Nairobi but has in the past twice been pulled back by US authorities over ‘concerns’ vis a vis aviation security.

Word on the aviation grapevine is that another attempt may be in the pipeline for late 2015 or early 2016, at which stage of course it is hoped that Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport will have attained Cat 1 certification by the FAA and Kenya Airways can equally start direct flights to US gateways.

Also present was AirServ, an American owned but locally incorporated light aircraft charter company based at Entebbe International Airport, which also offers extensive maintenance and hangar facilities as an approved MRO.

AirServ has been in Uganda since the mid 1990’s, a sign that American investments have prospered and flourished over the decades, with many opportunities, especially in the emerging oil sector, but also across manufacturing and the service industry, remaining wide open.

Exhibitors expressed their satisfaction with the level of interest shown by the local business community which thronged the hall for much of the day, seeking to get acquainted with the range of American investments and their products available either through locally incorporated firms or through direct imports.

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