Airlines see strong demand as Entebbe reopens
Airlines saw strong demand into and out of Entebbe on October 1, as commercial operations resumed at Uganda international gateway.
Despite the hassle and additional cost of having to undergo Covid-19 testing prior to travel, the first day saw twelve scheduled departures and arrivals. The sharp contraction in deployed capacity occasioned by the limitation of operators to a single flight per destination, saw them enjoy above average load factors.
National carrier Uganda Airlines achieved load factors of 50pc and 70pc on its outbound and inbound services on the Entebbe-Nairobi route according to officials. The service to Mogadishu had a cabin factor of 90pc while the service to Juba which resumed today was 100pc booked. That gave Uganda Airlines an average cabin factor above 70pc across the available network.
Entebbe will be operating a limited schedule up to the end of the year as systems are aligned and stress-tested for operations under Covid-19. Starting January2021, airlines will be allowed to double frequencies with a full return to normal operations envisaged from April.
The Civil Aviation Authority says the special repatriation flights were an opportunity for the airport to get an accurate picture of Entebbe International’s Covid-19 preparedness with the thermal scanners showing a 99pc accuracy level.