After denying the rumors for months, this morning British Airways has finally confirmed they are halting flights from London to Entebbe, and the reaction was swift and harsh.
An agent from one of the top ranked travel agencies in Kampala, who hardly sold BA by admission any longer and shifted his passengers to the Gulf Air for long haul flights, stated, “They took us for fools. The writing was on the wall for quite some time after they ditched Dar es Salaam. British Airways had everything going for them in the 90’s and could have gone daily way before the likes of Emirates came into Entebbe. They cut their representation back and even the top guy moved from Nairobi to South Africa. Just like getting a visa to Britain, their High Commission also shifted this out of Uganda. I can only say good riddance, they made a mess of things instead of grabbing market opportunities. No one is shedding a tear here I tell you”.
The last flight from Heathrow to Entebbe will take place on the 2nd of October, and the return flight will subsequently leave Uganda back to the UK on the 3rd of October 2015.
Furthermore, other travel agents and passengers commented negatively about the aging aircraft used on the route, claiming the cabins needed updating and modernizing, unlike the aircraft used by Kenya Airways, Brussels Airlines, KLM, Qatar Airways, Etihad and Emirates. The assurance of the service’s future re-evaluation by Edward Frost, British Airwards Regional Commercial Manager, East and Southern Africa, was dismissed as a smoke screen as the competition has now taken over this market using advanced aircraft, offering better entertainment on board and superior catering.
Qatar Airways, a OneWorld Alliance Member, is expected to take over the client base of British Airways, with its daily services between Entebbe and Doha and six onward flights to London. There has been speculation regarding to Qatar Airways increasing frequencies from Doha to Entebbe and this could be the perfect opportunity to add more flights in order to provide multiple daily connections from Uganda to the UK.