A high-ranking government official has called for the immediate sacking of the flight crew who let two men sell grasshoppers onboard a Uganda Airlines flight to Dubai. The hawkers are also facing trouble of their own. But Uganda Airlines is now talking about offering the local delicacy onboard on future flights.
Enterprising Passengers Hawk Grasshoppers On Uganda Airlines Flight To Dubai
Grasshoppers, known locally as Nsenene, are a delicacy in Uganda. Onboard UR446, an Airbus A330-800neo traveling from Entebbe (EBB) to Dubai (DXB), a pair of enterprising young men decided to sell fried grasshoppers onboard.
Mubiru Paul and Kiggundu Habib specialize in selling mobile phone accessories but apparently branched out to grasshoppers to the captive audience onboard UR446. Paul brought the grasshoppers onboard in his carry-on (permitted since they were fried) but instead of placing his bag in the overhead bin, opened it and began selling the delicacy down the aisles as Habib filmed.
Uganda’s Minister of Works and Transport, Gen. Katumba Wamala, has ordered that the flight crew be punished for not stopping the men immediately. He tweeted:
About the video making rounds on social media of someone vending Nsenene aboard @UG_Airlines, I have spoken to the leadership of the airline to take action against the staff who were in charge when this happened. pic.twitter.com/pNL3H44zok
— General Edward Katumba Wamala (@GenWamala) November 27, 2021
The “businessmen” have also been arrested and charged with common nuisance.
Uganda Airlines has since released a statement on the incident, explaining:
This happened at a time our passengers were boarding, and it was disruptive. We don’t condone the acts of the passenger seeking Nsenene and low standards of serving it to people who were buying it. We will not take conduct on board lightly because it undermines the spirit of the National Carrier.
We have picked lessons from the incident. 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. The addition of Nsenene on our menu will bring the Uganda culture to the world. Our key products are people and the experience.
That’s right, Uganda Airlines will soon offer grasshoppers onboard and believes this will boost tourism, marketing, and quality of life.
This move will boost tourism marketing and the livelihood of people in the grasshopper value chain going forward.
It also warned that the passengers’ conduct was not acceptable onboard:
No one should be exposed to an unruly market experience on our flight. The unacceptable disruptive behavior prevents the performance of critical duties of the flight crew.
Clearly, it is not appropriate for passengers to hawk food onboard a commercial flight. Still, I do admire the enterprising spirit of the young men and hope they won’t get into too much trouble. As for the grasshoppers, I’ve never had them but would be glad to try one on my next Uganda Airlines flight.
Would you eat grasshoppers on Uganda Airlines?