Route Analysis: Sharjah-Entebbe

Air Arabia is launching a new route to Uganda at the same time as Uganda Airlines is entering the United Arab Emirates market.

A new nonstop connection between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Uganda is being launched in October. Air Arabia will begin offering flights from Sharjah (SHJ) to Entebbe (EBB) from Oct. 10. Service will be three times per week on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.

Flights will depart Sharjah at 9 a.m., arriving in Entebbe at 1.35 p.m. After a 40-minute turnaround, the return service leaves the Ugandan city at 2.15 p.m. before arriving back in Sharjah at 9 p.m. The sector will be operated using Airbus A320s.

Data provided by OAG Schedules Analyser shows that the route will become the LCC’s third from Sharjah to destinations in East Africa. For the week commencing Sept. 13, daily flights are offered to Nairobi (NBO) in Kenya, as well as a 1X-weekly service to Hargeisa (HGA) in Somalia.

Although Air Arabia will be the sole operator of flights between Sharjah and Entebbe once the route launches, there will be indirect competition provided by Emirates and flydubai from Dubai International (DXB). Emirates currently serves DXB-EBB 5X-weekly using Boeing 777-300ERs, while flydubai offers daily 737-800 flights.

Additionally, Uganda Airlines is entering the Entebbe-Dubai market on Oct. 2 when it launches a 2X-weekly route using A330-800neo equipment. Qatar Airlines also offers a daily Doha (DOH)-Entebbe route onboard 787-8s.

O&D traffic between the UAE and Uganda totaled 171,000 two-way passengers in 2019—96% of which was between Dubai and Entebbe. Air Arabia will be hoping its low fares will stimulate traffic from Sharjah, in particular targeting migrant worker flows from Uganda to the Middle East.

SHJ-EBB

Carrier:

Air Arabia

Aircraft:

Airbus A320

Frequency:

3X-weekly

Start date:

Oct. 10, 2021

Distance:

3,748 km

O&D traffic demand (2019):

5

Annual growth:

N/A

Average base fare (2019):

N/A

 Photo credit: Air Arabia