Blog Archive

Monday, January 22, 2007

VIA Uganda is down but not out!

Its tough for airlines out there... Just as Flamingo folded - reabsorbed into KQ - since it could not sell enough tickets thru the web, VIA Uganda has (temporarily) closed up shop!

I highlighted the fact that most airline startups in East Africa have collapsed. The low internet penetration in Kenya & Uganda as well as fraud & low credit card use makes web bookings difficult for customers/passengers.

The 'collapse' of VIA leaves KQ as the dominant - if not, only carrier - between NBO-EBB. KQ's strengths are:
  • Extensive network. It is estimated that 80% of NBO-EBB flights are connecting not point-to-point flights.
  • Extensive but expensive distribution system including Travel Agents, Web & Sales Offices.
  • Financial strength

Kenya has its Fly 54o which has lucked out since fuel prices have fallen as well as increased tourism on the NBO-MBA route. They have also added KSM but they will face increased competition from KQ's new Embraer Jets coming in mid-2007.

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