UGANDA (eTN) – Only days away from its inaugural flight between Doha and Entebbe, Qatar Airways (QR) is stepping up its marketing efforts, in fact pulling out all the stops, to get into the hearts and minds of travel agents and frequent travelers. The fight for market share now goes underway in earnest with other established carriers like Emirates, British Airways, KLM, Brussels Airlines, Kenya Airways, and Ethiopian Airlines, all of which have served Uganda for many years and are now wary of a quality airline like QR entering the market and capturing market share from what is generally thought of as one with great potential, now that oil has been discovered in Uganda in substantial quantities.
Already dubbed “The World’s Only 5-Star Airline,” Qatar seeks to position itself as an airline of choice, offering daily services via their Gulf hub to the rest of the world. Entebbe/Uganda is Qatar’s 13th new destination opened in 2011 – someone had to pick the “lucky number” – but is soon followed by number 14 when the airline is launching its 5th destination in China, this being the western city of Chongqin, making it a total of 28 flights to China a week, available to connecting passengers from Uganda. In addition, over 100 other global destination are now within reach of passengers choosing to fly with Qatar Airways, substantially widening the options for Ugandans to travel abroad and for foreign visitors to come to Uganda in turn.
Qatar Airways’ Chief Executive will be in Uganda for the flight premiere and will meet representatives of media organizations at the Kampala Serena Hotel on November 3.
Meanwhile, the launch campaign for Gulf Air’s flights, due to commence on December 5 with 4 flights per week, is stuttering in the face of spats with travel agents and the absence of both offices, as well as a GSA partner, which is in stark contrast with the activities by Qatar Airways, whose choice of a first-rate PR agency in Kampala has also made a world of difference.