Competition for business among airlines plying the Entebbe-Juba route is set to stiffen after Juba-based South Supreme Airlines launched its inaugural flight to Entebbe last week.
The airline, which is owned by South Sudanese tycoon Ayii Duang Ayii, entered the market with the lowest one-way rate at $200, about Shs500,000, (inclusive of taxes) compared to an average of $355 (about Shs887,500) charged by Air Uganda, Kenya Airways and Fly 540 (Fast Jet).
This indicates that the new airline which currently flies on two international routes including Khartoum and now Entebbe, is competing head-on with the rest of the airlines on the route. The airline’s Uganda country manager, Mr Godwin Ndamurani, however, said the low rate is not aimed at out-competing its competitors, rather providing an affordable price for travellers.
Airport operations boosted
Speaking after the maiden flight in Entebbe, Civil Aviation Authority’s (CAA) deputy managing director, Mr David Kakuba, said the decision made by South Supreme Airlines to fly in and out of Entebbe is a vote of confidence in the safety, security and business sustainability of Entebbe international Airport. He added that the move will improve efficiency, lower fares for passengers and also grow Uganda’s airline industry.
The airline intends to fly three times a week between Juba and Entebbe, with the hope of increasing the frequency to daily flights in the future.
Transport minister Abraham Byandala said with more airlines connecting Entebbe and Juba, it will boost trade between the two countries and also promote tourism. He added that the increasing number of flights to Entebbe will increase competition and encourage better service provision in addition to growing passenger and cargo traffic.
Growth in tourist arrivals in the country partly led to a 14 per cent increase in passenger traffic at Entebbe airport.