New airlines open new opportunities


(Posted 26th December 2014)

The arrival of ‘flydubai’ in East Africa during October and November, since then serving Entebbe, Bujumbura, Kigali, Kilimanjaro, Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar, has, besides boosting tourism and trade for regional businesses, also opened up a whole new range of destinations for travelers from the region.

After launching some 23 destinations in 2014, the most ever rolled out in a single year, does the airline now serve 89 destinations overall, giving East African travelers 82 destinations to fly on to after transiting in Dubai. Most of these are found across the Indian subcontinent, Eastern Europe and of course the Gulf and the Arabian peninsula, opening doors for business opportunities both ways.

I think we are not taking advantage of this budget airline coming to Entebbe as of now. Tourism can get a real boost if we could only tap into their East European network. No other airline can get tourists cheaper to Uganda than they do. We need to partner with them, in fact partner more with all airlines flying to Entebbe, and package good offers’ answered a tour operator in Kampala when tipped off to these opportunities. In response to the same question directed to a senior member of the Private Sector Foundation Uganda did he, on condition of anonymity for not being the official spokesperson of PSF (U): ‘You are right. We should organize a trade mission to some of the places they fly to and promote our coffee, tea, flowers, fish and other exports. New airlines create new opportunities and we have been slow to take advantage. Their fares are very affordable, so a trade mission group can economize a lot when going out to sell Ugandan products and produce’.

Another source close to the airline in Uganda added that they are keen to see the entire region take advantage of their daily flights to Entebbe and Dar es Salaam and their several flights a week to Bujumbura, Kigali, Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar: ‘Tour agents should prepare offers and the airline can then partner to promote Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda and Tanzania across their network. Reasonably priced packages together with low fares should make that a win win situation’.

Meanwhile has the airline’s CEO Gaith Al Gaith also gone on record when he said earlier in the week in Dubai that flydubai would continue to add aircraft, routes and frequencies in 2015, putting their 100th destination within reach sometime next year. Certainly an airline to watch. For information on destinations, schedules and fares click on

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