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By Joel Mugabi

National carrier Uganda Airlines has spoken out on a video showing a grasshopper (nsenene) vendor selling the delicacy to passengers aboard a flight destined for Dubai.

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Captured on Friday, November 26, the video has since gone viral on social media, sparking criticism from a number of Ugandans who argue that vending nsenene is one way of lowering the standard of air travel.

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In a statement on the viral video, which was recorded on flight number 446 that was leaving Entebbe International Airport for Dubai, Uganda Airlines has regretted the incident, assuring Ugandans it would not happen again because of the negative consequences it has on efforts to market the national carrier. The airline described the incident, which took place at the time passengers were boarding the plane, as having been “disruptive.”

“We don’t condone the acts of the passenger selling Nsenene and low standards of serving it to people who were buying it,” said the airline in a statement. “We will not take this conduct on board lightly because it undermines the spirit of the National Carrier.”

But managers at Uganda Airlines said they had “picked lessons from the incident” and were mulling inclusion of nsenene on their menu as part of efforts to give passengers travelling with the national carrier a great experience, as well as promoting tourism.

“Some of our customers enjoy Nsenene. We understand that they were not in plenty this season hence the excitement. We are considering adding Nsenene, a Ugandan delicacy, to our menu for regional and international flights on request,” read the statement from the airline in part. “This addition of Nsenene on our menu will bring Ugandan culture to the world. Our key products are people and the experience. This move will boost tourism marketing and the livelihood of people in the grasshopper value chain going forward.”

Meanwhile, Uganda Airlines has warned travelers against engaging in low-standard activities such as the vending of nsenene, warning that passengers who involve themselves in such acts would be punished.

“We are in talks with passengers involved, and if there is another occurrence of such conduct on Board, the passenger will be off-loaded without further consideration,” the airline’s statement further read. “No one should be exposed to an unruly market experience on our flight. The unacceptable disruptive behaviour prevents the performance of critical duties of the flight crew.” (For comments on this story, call, text or whatsapp us on 0705579994 [whatsapp line], 0779411734, 0200900416 or email us





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