Regional airlines step up competition against Kenya Airways

Date: Oct 22, 2021

The battle for the skies is shaping up in the East African region as airlines upgrade their fleet and expand destinations, setting the stage for heightened competition with established carriers such as Kenya Airways (KQ).

The regional airlines are also expanding their interline agreement with foreign carriers as they seek to increase their reach through codeshare.

The interline agreements and expansion of routes, mean that travellers from countries such as Uganda and Tanzania, no longer have to transit via Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to destinations where their local carriers do not fly.

Uganda Airlines, which resumed operations less than two years ago has for the first time started flights to South Africa and Dubai routes after plying within the region since its inauguration.

The Entebbe-based carrier begun the Dubai route a fortnight ago with three flights, and now wants to increase the frequencies from the current three weekly to four or five as the demand on the route grows.

Dubai is the carrier’s first long-haul intercontinental route, and it’s banking on high number of passengers and frequencies to maintain that destination.

The Ugandan carrier recently entered into a codeshare agreement with Emirates, allowing passengers to fly either carrier on the Entebbe-Dubai route and fly and connect with Uganda Airlines to East Africa.

Also, early this month, Air Tanzania received a delivery of two Airbus A220-300 aircraft lifting the number of this model of airbus in its fleet to four. Air Tanzania first took delivery of the A220 in December 2018, becoming the first African operator to have this type in their fleet.

The Tanzanian carrier is now ready to expand its international reach with additional aircraft that now raises its fleet to slightly over 10.



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