For the fist time in aviation history a Belgian airline will offer daily flights between Brussels and Entebbe in Uganda, starting December this year.
A rise in demand has been cited for the decision by Brussels Airlines to increase the five weekly flights to daily, connecting the European capital with Entebbe International Airport (EBB), the principal international airport of Uganda. EBB is near the town of Entebbe on the shores of Lake Victoria – 41 kilometres south-west of the central business district of Kampala, the capital and largest city of Uganda.
From presently five flights a week the service is to be upgraded to daily flights, with onward flights to the Rwandan capital Kigali and the capital of Burundi, Bujumbura. Using an Airbus A330 all departures out of Entebbe to Brussels will be nonstop from December while the inbound flights will route six times via Kigali from Monday to Saturday and via Bujumbura on Sundays.
All weekly overnight flights to Brussels are scheduled to arrive at 06.35, making it possible to connect with early departure flights to almost all European and Mediterranean destinations as well as long haul departures to North America and India.
In 2015 Uganda’s tourism sector was left in panic when British Airways stopped direct flights from the UK to Uganda – noting it was no longer financially viable. Uganda is heavily reliant on foreign tourists – especially from the United Kingdom and the US – for its sustainability. It the same time Brussels Airlines started to increased the number of its weekly flights from three to five, mainly to facilitate flights to the “Pearl of Africa” via Brussels from UK, other parts to the UK and the US.
There are currently (October 2017) no direct flights from the UK to Entebbe. Other airlines that flying to Entebbe are Emirates (from Dubai), South African Airways (from Johannesburg),
KLM (from Amsterdam), Kenya Airways (from Nairobi), Qatar Airways (from Doha), Etihad Airways (from Abu Dhabi), EgyptAir (from Cairo), Turkish Airlines (from Istanbul), Ethiopian Airlines (from Addis Ababa) and RwandAir (from Kigali).
In June Chief Executive Officer of Brussels Airlines, Bernard Gustin, told Jonathan Kamoga of AllAfrica.com flying to Uganda is economically viable for the airline as well as to other African hubs “because it is the continent of tomorrow. We even want to further invest in there because of the market potential and it is best for us to be there when the market continues to grow”.