After a delay to flights that lasted almost 20 years, Uganda Airlines has once more taken to the atmospheres above Africa, rebuilding its status as the country’s national carrier.
Commercial services continued on Tuesday with a flight from Entebbe to Nairobi in neighboring Kenya that the airline hoped will usher in a profitable new period for the previously debt-ridden brand.
Uganda Airlines mentioned its fleet of twin-engined Bombardier CRJ-900 regional jet airliners would quickly connect to destinations including Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania, Mogadishu in Somalia and Juba in South Sudan.
Farther flung places will comply with, says Jennifer Bamuturaki, the airline’s director of promoting and public affairs. Services to following locations, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Ghana, South Africa, and Rwanda are anticipated to be added from September. The airline was scheduled to continue operations in July however needed to achieve certification to show its crews can fly safely to any part of the world.
The revival of the brand, initially founded by dictator Idi Amin in 1977 however grounded in 2001 amid financial difficulties, is aimed toward capitalizing on opportunities in agriculture, minerals, tourism and oil and gas sectors, said Monica Ntege Azuba, Uganda’s minister of works and transport.
Current years have seen growing international interest in Uganda as a vacation destination with travelers drawn by stunning national parks, beach resorts, and wildlife similar to rare mountain gorillas.
Increased passenger traffic on the country’s Entebbe International Airport will contribute to the country’s national economy, Vianney Luggya of the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority stated.
Luggya said Entebbe’s 1.85 million annual passengers could rise to match the 7 million skilled by Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Kenya.
Uganda Airlines flew to eight destinations and had a fleet of 15 aircraft on the time of its closure in 2001 when a more than a decade of financial difficulties resulted in its liquidation.
In the same year, a try and resurrect the government-owned airline via a private sector initiative was made. But the operation didn’t last long as a result of limited capital.
To compete with huge regional players like Ethiopia Airlines and Kenya Airlines, the relaunched Uganda Airlines is running promotional fares that may run for two months. Nairobi and Mombasa return tickets cost $278 and $325 respectively. Return tickets to Mogadishu, Somalia, and Juba, South Sudan, cost $590 and $225 respectively.