Once upon a time, British Airways advertised their services with the slogan “The World’s Favorite Airline,” but those days are long gone, as is British Airways itself from the skies of Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania, and Uganda, after deciding to ditch the destinations and their loyal customers with it.
The front runner for many years for point to point traffic to the UK, which still remains the most travelled to destination for East Africans, has subsequently withered away and it is now predominantly the Gulf airlines which, apart from Brussels Airlines and KLM – the remaining two big European carriers coming to Entebbe and Kigali – have taken over the route.
Qatar Airways just days ago announced the launch of 8 flights a week to Birmingham as their fourth UK destination and Emirates, ever ready to meet competitive challenges, has made announcements that they will notch up their own UK presence – they fly to six UK destinations at present – with a sixth flight to Heathrow and a fourth flight to Gatwick, daily that is.
The added Gatwick flight will be launched from 01st of October it was learned while the sixth flight to Heathrow commenced this week, initially using a B777 but due to be upped to an A380 from July this year, when the airline has taken additional deliveries from Airbus.
This development will make Emirates the largest foreign long haul carrier flying into London, with unmatched frequencies and choices of aircraft even, offering a choice between the Airbus A380 and the Boeing B777-300ER.
Elsewhere in the UK does Emirates serve Manchester, Newcastle, Birmingham and Glasgow.
Passenger surveys constantly confirm why Emirates, as did Qatar Airways, become such successes. Based on such elements as inflight service, facilities on the ground, new aircraft and fares which has the market vote with their feet.
Dubai International, in short DXB, is already the world’s largest international airport, having taken the title from Heathrow. When the new Dubai World Central, right now at the fringes of the city but by the time it is fully operational no doubt part of greater Dubai, takes over with a projected capacity of up to 150 million passengers a year, will Heathrow no longer be the hub it once was. Who knows, by then – talking 2025 – could the Gulf airlines offer literally an hourly shuttle service into London and also to other global destinations, no doubt making the choice of passengers even easier whom to fly with.
Emirates, presently having one up on their Gulf competitors as the airline only flies wide body aircraft, serves Entebbe daily and Nairobi and Dar es Salaam double daily.