NO TEARS ARE SHED AS BRITISH AIRWAYS ANNOUNCES ENTEBBE EXIT
(Posted 24th July 2015)
When the news came in earlier this morning, that British Airways, after months of denying the rumours, had finally confirmed their intent to halt flights from London to Entebbe, was the reaction swift and brutal.
‘They took us for fools. The writing was on the wall for quite some time after they ditched Dar es Salaam. British Airways had everything going for them in the 90’s and could have, in fact should have gone daily way before the likes of Emirates came into Entebbe. But they diddled and fiddled around and instead cut their representation back. Even the top guy moved from Nairobi to South Africa. It is just like with getting Visa to Britain, their High Commission too shifted this out of Uganda. I can only say good riddance, they made a mess of things instead of grabbing market opportunities. No one is shedding a tear here I tell you’ ranted a periodic contributor from among the top ranked travel agencies in Kampala, who by admission hardly sold BA any longer and had shifted his passengers to the Gulf airlines for long haul flights.
The last flight from Heathrow to Entebbe will take place on the 02nd of October and the return flight will subsequently leave Uganda back for the UK on the 03rd of October.
Other travel agents and even passengers among the regular readers equally commented negatively about the type of aircraft used on the route and the aged state of the cabins, in comparison with aircraft used by Kenya Airways, Brussels Airlines, KLM, Qatar Airways, Etihad and Emirates and equally put their thumbs down. Edward Frost’s assurance of future re-evaluation of the service was broadly dismissed as a smoke screen and an admission of defeat in the face of strong competition using newer aircraft, offering better entertainment on board and superior catering.
Other carriers are expected to take up the passengers and it is widely expected that Qatar Airways, a OneWorld alliance member, will be handed the British Airways’ clients base on a silver platter. With daily services between Entebbe and Doha and as many as six onward flights to London is QR best positioned to take up the slack. There has been speculation for a while when rather than if Qatar Airways will increase frequencies from Doha to Entebbe and this may be the perfect opportunity to add more flights in order to provide multiple daily connections from Uganda to the UK.
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