Etihad Airways to ditch Uganda route from next year

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After only two and a half years of plying the Abu Dhabi-Entebbe route, Etihad airways has thrown in the towel.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) national carrier said the cancellation of the Entebbe service will start March 25, 2018. Etihad launched its services between Abu Dhabi and Entebbe in May 2015.

The carrier offered options to passengers who had purchased tickets on/before Dec. 18 for travel on/after March 25, 2018 that included rebooking/rerouting and cancellation refund.

“For partially or fully unused tickets, re-booking/rerouting is available on EY and Kenyan Airways (via the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, code named NBO),” the statement read.

“Any date change fee as well as fare differences arising from the rerouting/re-booking is waived for this one instance only,” it added.

The announcement comes on the heels of a reduction in flight frequency on the Johannesburg-Entebbe route by South African Airways (SAA) recently.
Effective September, SAA reduced the frequency of flights on the route from seven to six effective Sept. 29.

Yogi Biriggwa, SAA’s Uganda country manager, described the frequency reduction as normal in the aviation industry but said this is in most cases driven by demand for the services.

Also, British Airways opted out of the London-Entebbe route over economic unviability of the route.

Despite increasing number of passengers arriving at the Entebbe International Airport, airlines’ profitability margins have come under increasing pressure as several other international airlines have flocked to the country, according to experts.

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