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Air Uganda to Share Route With Air Tanzania
Posted: Tuesday May 20, 2008 7:07 AM BT
By Moses Serugo, Kampala
Air Uganda and Air Tanzania have signed the first code share agreement on the Entebbe-Dar-es-Salaam route. The partnership increases Air Uganda's flights between Entebbe and the Tanzanian capital to seven days a week, up from four.
A newly formed Air Tanzania
This is likely to strengthen the airline's position in the increasingly competitive regional market. Passengers can now choose to travel every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday with Air Uganda or on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays with Air Tanzania.

"Our passengers will be able to travel on any day of the week using Air Tanzania while holding an Air Uganda ticket and flight number. From a commercial point of view, passengers will have access to wider travelling options and this will result in an increase of the market for both Air Uganda and Air Tanzania," said Air Uganda Commercial Director Vittorio Scabbia after inking the deal.

Mr Scabbia said the partnership is in line with the Ugandan airline's goal to achieve higher visibility in the region by opening joint services with other regional carriers.

"This is the first step in the direction of opening new services without inflating the market with unnecessary extra capacity, taking into account the real needs of the clients in terms of frequency and availability," he added.

Meanwhile Air Uganda CEO Peter de Waal says the airline hopes to sign more agreements with airlines that fly in and out of Nairobi in order to grow its passenger load on the lucrative Entebbe-Nairobi route. "We plan on code sharing because 65 per cent of the traffic on the Entebbe-Nairobi route are connecting passengers," said Mr de Waal.

He revealed plans to code share with SN Brussels, KLM, KQ, Emirates, Qatar Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Ethiopian pending IATA approval. Overall Air Uganda commands a 32 per cent market share on this route and hopes the interline agreements will increase its presence on the route.

Airlines in the region have used interline agreements to maximise their load and give passengers more travel options. Past partnerships of this nature have included East African Airlines and Kenya Airways.

Rwanda Air last month suspended its partnership with Kenya Airways citing violation of the agreement.

Mr de Waal said in the period since Air Uganda has won plaudits for its 94 per cent punctuality on the Entebbe-Nairobi route, generous legroom between seats, splendid in-flight catering and warm cabin crew.
The Monitor (Kampala)
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