The past year in the global aviation industry has been defined by a shrinking of the market with airlines slashing jobs, trimming down their fleets and revising their route networks in a game of capacity vs demand.
While cost optimization is essential for survival, airlines are still battling to maintain a presence across the air transport network. As a result, the industry’s appetite for partnerships has grown giving rise to a wave of interline agreements.
Airlines particularly in the Southern part of Africa, perhaps the most agile on the continent have backed that trend with the likes of CemAir, Airlink and Flysafair inking interline partnerships with gulf carriers
In East Africa, Kenya Airways secured an interline partnership with Airlink in May 2021 while in the past few weeks, Rwandair announced a frequent flyer partnership with Qatar Airways.
Yesterday, while speaking at a virtual Rotary Club meeting in Kampala, Ag. CEO of Uganda Airlines, Jenifer Bamuturaki confirmed that the Uganda national carrier was in talks with gulf carriers Emirates and Qatar as well as European legacy airline, KLM over interline partnerships.
The partnership with Emirates will be unilateral, she confirmed, meaning that Emirates Airlines will be able to connect its passengers to onward Uganda Airlines’ flights thereby accessing its route network, however Uganda Airlines will not be able to reciprocate. The relationship is expected to strengthen ties between the airlines and boost ticket sales.
Last month, Hahn Air, an airline and ticketing solutions provider announced it had partnered with Uganda Airlines with its HR-169 product allowing the Ugandan national airline’s tickets to be distributed and sold in more markets across the world
Uganda Airlines flies to 10 destinations with an active fleet of 4 MHIRJ CRJ-900 aircraft and 2 additional Airbus A330-800s awaiting a green light to kickstart international operations.