Emirates airline responds to flight demand on Entebbe-Dubai route

Rising demand for travel from Entebbe to Dubai and beyond has been cited as the main reason for the capacity increase announced by Emirates, effective October 1 of this year.

Emirates airline responds to flight demand on Entebbe-Dubai route

Rising demand for travel from Entebbe to Dubai and beyond has been cited as the main reason for the capacity increase announced by Emirates, effective October 1 of this year.

The 12 percent increase in seats and corresponding rise in underfloor cargo capacity will be accomplished by switching from the present Airbus A330-200 to the larger Boeing B777-200LR.

The larger Boeing will offer 8 First Class Suites, 42 fully-reclining Business Class seats, and 216 seats in Economy Class.

The upping of capacity will firmly put to rest the speculation that the launch of daily flights by FlyDubai, the low-cost airline also owned by the government of Dubai, has in any form impacted on load factors of senior cousin Emirates.

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Selected sources from within Kampala ‘s travel trade have warmly welcomed the move while complimenting Emirates for the use of wide-bodied aircraft, something several of them claimed puts the airline miles apart from competitors from the Gulf using single-aisle aircraft. Said one who, however, preferred to stay unnamed: “Emirates is the biggest of the Gulf big league. They are the only ones offering three classes of service and the only one using a wide body. Others may have some merit but lack the space of a wide body. And let me be blunt, flying four times a week simply does not cut it. It reminds me of Gulf Air which also flew only a few times a week, and we all know how that ended. Gulf airlines are expected to fly daily, nothing less will do, or else they cannot be taken seriously in the highly competitive market we have.”

The broadside was no doubt aimed against the latest Gulf airlines entrant into the Ugandan marketplace but broadly reflects the sentiments heard often before, although Qatar Airways has constantly defied the trend, largely attributed to the superior inflight service. In fact, all eyes will be on Qatar Airways now as speculation has been ongoing about their own capacity increase, albeit by adding more Airbus A320 services rather than switching to a wide-bodied aircraft on the route to Entebbe and on to Kigali.

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