Airlink Ceases Johannesburg-Entebbe Route Due to Low Demand
Introduction: Airlink, the airline based in South Africa, recently made the decision to discontinue its route connecting Johannesburg, South Africa, and Entebbe, Uganda. The move, effective from August 24, 2023, was attributed to the route’s commercial non-viability, primarily due to limited passenger traffic, as reported by Travel News.
Reasons for Route Withdrawal: According to Rodger Foster, CEO and Managing Director of Airlink, the airline had previously operated the Johannesburg-Entebbe route exclusively six times a week with sustainable viability. However, in September 2021, after Uganda and South Africa reopened their markets for intra-African travel, Airlink resumed services on the route with four flights per week. Despite concerted efforts to stimulate travel between the two cities, the demand in both directions remained weak post-COVID, resulting in insufficient passenger volumes to support multiple competing airlines.
Monitoring Market for Future Returns: Foster emphasized that Airlink would closely monitor the market and expressed readiness to reinstate service on the route once traffic volumes reach a level that can sustain the presence of two competing airlines.
Alternative Option with Uganda Airlines: Travelers need not be concerned about the route’s discontinuation, as Uganda Airlines has stepped in to offer more flights between Johannesburg and Entebbe. In recent developments, Uganda Airlines has increased its flight frequency, serving the route five times a week.
New Flight Schedule: With the reintroduction of the Wednesday flight, Uganda Airlines now operates the route on a regular basis. The Wednesday flight departs from Entebbe at 16:20 and arrives in Johannesburg at 19:35. The return flight from Johannesburg to Entebbe leaves at 20:35 and arrives in Uganda at 01:50.
Continued Options for Travelers: This change in the airline landscape ensures that travelers still have convenient options for flights between Johannesburg and Entebbe, maintaining the vital air link between the two cities.