KAMPALA, Uganda (eTN) – Information has been received that the Ugandan Civil Aviation Authority has granted permission to Brussels Airlines to add a Lufthansa code-share flight number to their own for the four times a week service between Brussels and Entebbe. This will, other than for some one off occasional cargo flights in the past, be the first scheduled Lufthansa flight number to Entebbe since the airline withdrew from Uganda in the heydays of notorious Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in the early ‘70s.
The code-shared flight is thought to tap into an additional substantial pool of travelers loyal to Lufthansa, as well as feed connecting traffic from other Star Alliance partners into the SN flights. Announcements at the Entebbe International Airport already mention the LH flight number when announcing flight arrivals and calling passengers for check in or boarding.
eTN had already reported this development several weeks ago and “formal” confirmation from the two airlines has now at last been received, after an initially both coy as well as stunned reaction about the breaking news at the time.
The more “formal” launch was held at the Sheraton Kampala Hotel earlier in the week, when SN country manager Pierre Declerk, flanked by SN’s country sales manager Roger Wamara and the Belgian and German ambassadors, formally briefed the Ugandan media on these developments and the resulting opportunities for travelers on Brussels Airlines from and to Entebbe.
Notably, no direct representative of Lufthansa was present on the occasion, underscoring the need for the German airline giant to restore a more visible presence in Eastern Africa once again and support their alliance partners for flights to Eastern Africa, Brussels Airlines and Swiss in their sales and marketing activities.
However, comments attributed by Pierre Declerk to Lufthansa in regard of the code sharing approvals were repeated for the media houses present, saying that the processing and granting of the code share application “was amongst the very fastest ever seen,” a resounding vote of confidence for the Ugandan Civil Aviation Authority.
The two ambassadors too expressed their support for the new cooperation between SN and LH, with the German Ambassador Reinhard Buchholz, in particular, appearing pleased to see the largest German airline “return” to Uganda, albeit presently under a code-share arrangement.
Meanwhile, SN has added its own flight number to the five times a week service between Frankfurt and Libreville, which is operated by Lufthansa.