(Posted 12th January 2023)
Information is emerging that Britain is putting obstacles in the way of Uganda Airlines, to launch the long awaited flights to London Heathrow.
Apparently are British aviation bodies yet to clear Entebbe vis a vis security checks but pundits are speculating that there may be some foul play at work, using the audit – necessary after the UK left Europe and many of the European frameworks – to extort unspecified concessions from the Uganda government. Uganda has been known not to always see eye to eye with the UK on international issues and like seen in Kenya in the past are the British not shy to exert pressure on one issue to advance their interests on another.
The EU of course has Entebbe long cleared in regard of security at Entebbe International Airport and direct and nonstop flights by #BrusselsAirlines and #KLM are operating on a daily basis without problems.
While the UK was within the EU did such issues therefor not arise but after BREXIT does this appear to now impact Uganda.
British Airways has long withdrawn from the Entebbe route after realigning their Africa policy radically many many years ago, when several key destinations across the continent were dropped unceremoniously despite good loadfactors at the time.
Uganda Airlines options are limited now in regard to flights to London, where they incidentally have both traffic rights and a landing slot. They could fly via a ‘security cleared’ airport but passengers and cargo would have to be offloaded there for a security check to be carried out before the flight could then continue to LHR. Needless to say, this adds substantial cost for the airline and causes massive inconvenience for passengers, besides the fact that at such a waypoint no additional cargo or passengers could be onloaded.
It is hoped that diplomatic pressure from Uganda can be applied to speed up the security audit, which a regular aviation source said could otherwise take up to two years to complete – again a possible pointer into using such issues to get Uganda make concessions in other areas.
ATCNews will follow up on this development over the coming months to see which way Britain opts to go, to either hasten the security audit and speed up the process or else continue playing the dirty games former colonial masters still inflict on their ‘friends in Africa’.