RWANDA BACKS AMBITION WITH ACTION
News was received overnight that Rwandas declared ambition to become a regional ITC superpower has now been backed up by government plans and commitments to inject additional fibre optic high speed high bandwidth capacity in the market through a contract with Tanzania Telecommunications. The 1.244 Gigabyte per second new connection will at least in half be taken up by government and governmental bodies to enhance e-government across Rwanda while the balance is due to be released into the open market to bring subscription rates down while at the same time increasing the existing speed of connections.
Broadband penetration in Africa still lingers below the half percent margin, when looked at as a continent but Rwanda is set to offer universal access to the internet for use in schools, institutions of higher learning and by promoting e-commerce for the entire economy. Already, as a case in point, are Visa only being granted electronically unless for very special and rare circumstances, compelling visitors who require Visa to enter Rwanda to apply in advance on the immigration website and then come with a printed confirmation / receipt and reference number to the immigration counter at the airport where processing subsequently is swift and generally perceived as the fastest in the entire region. The Rwanda Development Board, Tourism & Conservation, has also kept track on virtual visits to the country via websites, which have over the past two years increased exponentially, giving added exposure to Rwandas tourism attractions and helping to market the country to real visitors who are coming to Rwanda in ever growing numbers.
In addition Rwanda is wired up through fibre optic connections extending from the landing points of the seabed cables in Mombasa, via Nairobi, the Ugandan border, Kampala and Kabale to the land borders between Rwanda and Uganda, besides existing satellite backups which are used when, as recently seen, cables are cut or damaged. Rwanda taking the lead, again. Welcome to the Land of a Thousand Hills, where things are happening.
Archive for April 5th, 2012
BRUSSELS AIRLINES REACT TO COMPETITION BY ADDING FOURTH FLIGHT
The arrival in Uganda of more recent competition in form of Qatar Airways, now also flying to Kigali / Rwanda, i.e. into two destinations where SN has been having a strong client base, has undoubtedly spurred a review of operations and commitment to these important markets for Brussels Airlines and resulted in a fourth flight being re-introduced on the route. Effective immediately SN is now serving Kigali and Entebbe in a triangular operation every Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. A senior staff in Kampala said: with an additional frequency we also hope for more travellers underscoring SNs ambition to fight back, as incidentally other main European carriers have indicated they intend to do like KLM and BA, the latter also only last week announcing more flights to Entebbe.
SN has also cranked up their efforts to promote their upcoming daily flights from Brussels to JFK in New York from June this year onwards, which will run alongside their codeshared services with Star Alliance partners, offering travelers from Uganda and Rwanda a one stop solution with the shortest possible access route via Europe.
Further increases in frequencies have for the time being though been ruled out according to a source in Brussels until more long haul A330 aircraft have come to join the fleet of Brussels Airlines, something many friends of the Savoir Vivre are looking forward to. Watch this space.
AUSTRALIANS GET NEW DEALS FROM AIR AUSTRAL TO VISIT THE VANILLA ISLANDS
Air Austral of La Reunion, rather than the financially ailing Air Mauritius has now embarked to lift visitor numbers from Australia to Mauritius, the Seychelles and other Vanilla Island destinations, as the latest information from sources down under have confirmed overnight.
The carrier from La Reunion was swift in reacting to news a few weeks ago that Air Mauritius, currently undergoing a severe cost cutting programme aimed to ensure financial survival, would withdraw from Sydney and concentrate their entire Australian operation in Perth, to re-enter the market it had itself withdrawn from only weeks earlier. However, with the largest Mauritius expat community in Sydney and Melbourne, and intense travel interest to Mauritius figures had in 2010/11 grown significantly Air Austral reversed their own withdrawal within days of Air Mauritius making their announcement.
Fares on offer now are from as low as 274 AUS Dollars, plus 680 Dollars in taxes which goes to show how the current Australian government has loaded airfares to the detriment of promoting air travel and special couples fares are available for the twice weekly flights between Sydney and St. Denis / La Reunion. The airline then offers a choice of 4 onward flights to Mauritius, plus services to the Seychelles, Comoros, Mayotte and four key airports on Madagascar and stopovers, either way, on La Reunion are of course possible and happily arranged for. Visit www.air-austral.com for more details on special offers and the destinations the airline covers across the Indian Oceans Vanilla Islands.
Also visit www.seychelles.travel, www.reunion.fr, www.tourism-mauritius.mu, www.madagascar-tourisme.com, www.mayotte-tourism.com and www.tourisme.gouv.km/ for information on the Indian Ocean islands off the African continent, how to get there and the various attractions visitors can see.
Emirates throws down the gauntlet to the global aviation industry with new campaign ‘Hello tomorrow’
Whether the hugely successful Emirates advertising campaign Keep Discovering had truly run its course and intended lifespan of if competitive shakeups of markets and market shares prompted the powers that be in Dubai to get cracking on a new theme, is now rather immaterial but for post event analysis. Fact is that Emirates, the award winning national airline of Dubai has changed tack and the destinations served will soon see the new campaign unfold. Here in Eastern Africa this will be seen in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania where Emirates is now facing new competitors from their own back yard, following the start of daily flights on April 01 by Etihad to Nairobi and the rollout of Qatar Airways new East Africa network, which will over the next few months add Kilimanjaro, Mombasa and Zanzibar to their already as far as Gulf airlines go greatest selection of destinations after recently adding Kigali (once a day) to Entebbe (once a day) , Nairobi (twice a day) and Dar es Salaam (twice a day rising to thrice a day). Of course Emirates has now phased out the stop enroute to Entebbe in Addis Ababa, by the explanation of one of my regular sources due to operational reasons but for all industry analysts know as a result of market pressure since the arrival of Qatar Airways in early November, which turned passenger lamentations into a torrent of demands to cut out the added stop and go NONSTOP on the route.
The huge billboards across the cities of East Africa and at airports, but also the newspapers, weeklies and leading magazines are now bracing for a wave of orders to feature Emirates new Hello Tomorrow campaign ads, which company executives describe as moving from a globally known travel brand to a new lifestyle brand and which according to a statement availed by a source at the airlines Kampala office says will inspire people to greet tomorrows unlimited potential now.
The good news for travelers will be that the intensified battle to fill the added seats flying to and from East Africa will benefit them with special deals and extraordinary offers, inspite of the current high of global aviation fuel prices, allowing many more to fulfill a lifetime dream of traveling the world by connecting via Dubai, or via Abu Dhabi and Qatar for that matter as neither Etihad nor Qatar Airways are expected to take this latest marketing offensive lying down. The established European carriers too will be eyeing this latest marketing and advertising offensive by Emirates with concern, and at least one airline executive in Kampala has already indicated; I have not heard about that but if Emirates starts a major campaign, just like with mobile companies here in Uganda, I dont think any of the other airlines will just sit still. They will all have to react one way or another. We have a lot of capacity now in Uganda which needs filling and I gather in Nairobi the pressure is even greater. I cannot right now say how our head office will respond but be sure that there will be a response before requesting not to name either his airline or his name to avoid controversy.
Meanwhile will all eyes be watching the spaces in their dailies or on the billboards along the way to work, to see what Emirates and their advertising gurus have schemed up. Watch this space as I say Hello Tomorrow to you too.