The airline says the incident has made it consider adding nsenene on its menu for regional and international flights. This will be on request, and it will boost the incomes of the people involved in the grasshopper value chain and also Uganda's tourism industry. Some of the local brands currently on the menu include Uganda Waragi.
A boy showing some grasshoppers locally collected Nsenene, the most profitable edible insects in Uganda.
Uganda Airlines has condemned the conduct of one of its passengers who sold grasshoppers, locally known as nsenene, aboard flight 446.
The incident, which has since gone viral on social media, happened
before the airline's Airbus 330-800Neo departed for Dubai at Entebbe
on Friday November 26th.
The male passenger, in videos circulating on social media , was seen selling grasshoppers for 10,000 shillings in a transparent polyethene bag. It is evident that some of the
passengers were excited while others acted in disbelief or ignored what
was going on.
the airline says the incident was unfortunate and that the passenger,
yet to be identified, is warned. "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."
In a statement issued today November 27, the airline
says "this happened at the time our passengers were boarding, and it was disruptive. We don't condone the acts of the passenger selling nsenene and low standards of serving it to people who were buying it."
airline adds, "We will not take this conduct on board lightly because
it undermines the spirit of the National Carrier....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
airline however says the incident has made it consider adding nsenene
on its menu for regional and international flights. This will be on
request, and it will boost the incomes of the people involved in the
grasshopper value chain and also Uganda's tourism industry.
Some of the local brands currently on the menu include Uganda Waragi.
incident has attracted mixed reactions from the public, with some
supporting the move while others have castigated the airline for
failing to control the passengers involved.
of the sources told our reporter that the incident could have exposed
passengers to food poisoning and high chances of contracting COVID-19.
"Imagine 50 passengers complaining of a stomach upset after eating
nsenene on board!"
"the seller was not wearing a face mask, some of the excited buyers
crowded around him as some passengers were boarding the plane. To make
matters worse, the airline crew were not seen trying to control the
situation," the source adds.
was a fun experience, but this was not professional because the
passenger brought Kikuubo market style of selling nsenene to the plane,"
Irene Nalwoga says.
a frequent traveler and Managing Director of Renewills Tours and Travel,
says this incident has tainted the image of the airline and the airport. "How did a passenger board with a large quantity of nsenene as hand
luggage with all the security at the airport?" she asks.
cannot blame the passenger because he took the initiative and has made
money," Nalwoga adds. "But the airline crew should have protected the image of the
airline by taking charge after this entrepreneurial passenger started
selling nsenene to the excited buyers,"
Some of the airline staff, who spoke on anonymity, however say Ugandans are undiscliplined whenever they board any of the flights operated by Uganda Airlines.
"The crew could not do much because many passengers were buying the grasshoppers. You know some Ugandans could have even fought and harmed the crew had they tried to stop that man from selling nsenene."
The same staff member adds, "Some Ugandans think that they can do whatever they want on the plane because this is a national airline, especially those on the Dubai flights. Most of the Dubai passengers are businesspeople who think they can sell even matooke on board. But you will not see them behaving like that when they use other airlines."
Others suspect foul play. "Whoever allowed this passenger to check-in and go through the boarding security check point with this large volume of grasshoppers wants to ruin our reputation."
Another source agrees, saying, "No patriotic Ugandan can allow such a thing to happen. but we shall do what we can ."
Meanwhile, Vianney Luggya, the spokesperson at Uganda Civil Aviation
Authority-UCAA, says "the entire episode will be investigated."