CHANGE AT BRUSSELS AIRLINES UGANDA OFFICE
After nearly 7 years at the helm of Brussels Airlines is Pierre Declerck leaving Kampala to move an hours flight away to Nairobi while Benjamin Puissant is taking over from him. A new title too is on his calling card as Country Manager Uganda and South Sudan, giving indication which direction the think tank in Brussels is looking when it comes to expanding their network in Eastern Africa. The farewell party last night coincided with the monthly meeting of the Belgian Club at the Le Chateaux restaurant where original Belgian Leffe dark beer from the cask was served to a large number of invited guests, amongst them key travel agents and frequent travelers using Brussels Airlines.
Two new A 330 aircraft are expected to join the SN fleet shortly, permitting at last more flights, but it is understood that West and Central Africa are now vying with East Africa to get the new birds to open up new destinations and add more frequencies.
Entebbe is a code shared destination with Lufthansa, itself still delegating flights to Kenya and Uganda to partner and family member SN, while again Kenya and Tanzania are served by Swiss, another member of the Lufthansa Group. Hence there is space for expansion in Eastern Africa when Brussels Airlines gets additional aircraft with opportunities to increase frequencies to their existing destinations Kigali, Entebbe, Bujumbura and Nairobi and with new destinations like Juba and Tanzania.
Juba though will pose an operational challenge at present as the airport is not operating beyond daylight hours and refurbishment and modernization has been agonizingly slow in past years. However with the new government in place, aviation has been identified as a priority sector to link the new but landlocked country with the region and the rest of the world as a matter of great urgency and it is understood that planning and preparation of relevant tender documents is in high gear.
Further news were also confirmed that Brussels Airlines will shortly commence daily flights between Brussels and New York, which will make SN an even more interesting partner for many frequent and occasional flyers travelling from Uganda and the rest of Eastern Africa to the United States. The Big Apple is one of Americas foremost gateways with connections right across the entire country and the new destination is bound to cement SNs market position vis a vis their most direct rivals KLM, BA and Emirates from Entebbe. Watch this space for the latest updates from East Africas aviation scene.