By Watchdog reporter
How would you tell a sad story? In a country as poor as Uganda, with a sorry airport, fewer jobs, and taxes badly needed to run other government programs, the last thing one would expect is any government official frustrating Emirates Airline from turning Entebbe into its African base.
Well, it happened. Although muscled Emirates airlines wanted to turn Entebbe its African base from where it would fly to the entire continent, big officials in government frustrated the deal.
Watchdog has been told reliably that the Dubai based airline had preferred Entebbe due to its location, as well as beautiful surroundings, which they would use to market their airline to the African continent. The deal would fetch Uganda numerous tourism benefits as well as direct economic returns.
The deal would come with developments at the airport, as well, building of new terminals that would make Entebbe into one of the biggest and most beautiful airports on the continent.
Emirates would also ensure that passengers connecting flights out of Africa, would transit through Entebbe and this would be business for not only the Civil Aviation Authority but also duty free shops at the airport as well as suppliers for the airlines including fuel, food, beverage deals, etc that the numerous airlines would need to ensure the business goes on flawless.
Emirates would also guarantee hundreds of jobs for Ugandans such as mechanics, airhosts, drivers, cleaners, among others.
The bad news is – after begging and getting frustrated, the airline has chosen to relocate to Kigali, Rwanda.
Kigali was more than happy to receive Emirates, even when its young airline company, RwandAir will have to compete for space and business with the international airline.
President Museveni has been on the frontline saying government officials were frustrating investors.
We cry for Emirates base at Entebbe, which would compensate for the absence of Uganda Airlines, as well, the misses to the Uganda economy in terms of taxes, jobs, and other related benefits that the airline could have brought home.