Uganda Airlines sets eyes on agreements with global aviation players to improve connectivity
Uganda’s recently revived National carrier, the Uganda Airlines, is set to sign interline agreements with global aviation giants like Emirates, Qatar Airways and KLM among others to boost its connectivity of passengers.
The move will also see the 2-year-old airline rise more revenue in its coffers and an increase in its passenger numbers on certain routes.
Interlines are agreements between airlines which allow one airline to sell services to a customer that are provided by another airline. Airlines use interlines to sell routes that they would otherwise not be able to serve alone.
Airline officials said that the agreement between Uganda Airlines and Emirates will be a unilateral one whereby only Emirates will sell Uganda Airlines’ operational routes.
“Unilateral means Uganda Airlines will not be able to sell Emirates routes yet as it is a new entrant. Since Uganda Airlines is new, it takes time for some airlines to open up fully to it,” a source said.
The agreement between Uganda Airlines and Qatar Airways will be a bilateral one where both airlines will sell each other’s routes.
For KLM, discussions are still in infant stages but with the intention of signing a bilateral agreement.
What these agreements mean
For Unilateral agreements, Emirates will feed passengers into Uganda Airline routes out of Entebbe and Dubai.
“For Bilateral, we shall market each other and sell routes that each Airline operates. They will connect our clients worldwide, feed into their other destinations beyond their hub Airports and to destinations where we do not fly to at the moment,” an airline official said.
The agreements also mean a wider market visibility of Ugandan products in Africa, America, the Far East, Australia and other parts of Europe.
It will also give a bigger global tourism reach for Uganda, a source said. The agreements will also mean network growth for the nascent Uganda Airlines.
“In simple terms, these agreements mean increased passenger numbers on our flights,” a source said, adding that this will boost the airline’s revenues.
Currently, Uganda airlines operates reginal flights to destinations like Zanzibar, Nairobi, Mombasa, Kilimanjaro, and Mogadishu.
Others are Juba, Lusaka, Kinshasa, Bujumbura, Harare and Johannesburg.
The airline operates a fleet of four bombardier CRJ900 aircrafts that ply these regional routes but in its expansion bid, it has acquired two Airbus A330 –
800 neo that will take on long-haul routes to destinations like Guangzhou, Mumbai, London and Dubai by the end of this year.
The red listing of Uganda by some of these destinations over coronavirus concerns has delayed the planned kickoff of the long-haul flights.