Entebbe sees 10pc increase in passenger traffic, cargo dimmed by South Sudan suspension
Entebbe posted double-digit growth during 2018, handling 1, 840,264 international passengers compared to 1.65 million in 2017.
The 10.2pc expansion compares with the 8.1 registered between 2016 and 2017.
Speaking recently, CAA Uganda Deputy Managing Director Mr. Fred Bamwesigye attributed the double digit growth to the docking of new carriers at Entebbe, frequency development by incumbents and an increase in the number of Ugandans travelling abroad for employment.
Kenya Airways low-cost subsidiary Jambojet launched a daily service to Entebbe in February 2018 while Air Tanzania also returned to the airport in August with a tri-weekly service to Dares salaam. Precision Air also resumed services to Entebbe while Middle Eastern carrier FlyDubai added a second rotation out of Entebbe.
Domestic traffic increased to 26,711 passengers from 18,824 the previous year. Commercial aircraft movements surged from 29,327 to 32,386 during the year.
Cargo saw mixed fortunes with imports growing 0.45pc while exports fell 9.4pc. Bawmwesigye linked the 4000ton drop in exports to the suspension of food supplies to South Sudan by the United Nations.
Bamwesigye anticipates even more robust growth in 2019 because of the contribution of Uganda Airlines which is expected to commence operations mid-year. The first pair of Bombardier CRJ-900’s destined for the revived national carrier are expected early April while another two are expected in July and September.
Entebbe’s numbers dropped sharply in 2014, after the privately owned Air Uganda went out of service. With a fleet of just three CRJ-200’s, Entebbe based Air Uganda had become the biggest operator at the aiport contributing some 0.5 million passengers at its peak.