Uganda Airlines has made its maiden flight to Jomo Kenyatta international airport (JKIA) in Nairobi, Kenya, a month after being granted Air Operator Certificate (AOC) from Uganda civil aviation authority (UCAA).
The maiden flight was flagged off by the Prime Minister, Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda who said the country plans to play a critical role in the geopolitical and economic stability of East Africa as a region.
“Today, we stand here as witnesses to this historic moment were our national airline takes to the skies. I am glad some of us have had the honor to be associated with this great day. The country will always remember it. As a nation, we are strategically placed and with our airline, our neighbors will easily access our market and connect to their destinations,” he said before the plane took off to the skies from Entebbe International Airport.
“As we launch commercial flights, two of the four Bombardier aircraft were successfully delivered and approved to fly. The other two will be delivered next month as scheduled. The airbuses will be delivered later in 2020,” he said.
Uganda Airlines effective from tomorrow will make commercial flights to Nairobi, Juba twice daily, Mogadishu three times daily, Dar-es-Salaam and Kilimanjaro once a day, Bujumbura and Mombasa thrice a week.
The company will begin with two months promotional fares of Nairobi Return US$ 278, Juba Return US$ 225, Mogadishu Return US$ 590, Dar Return US$ 286, Bujumbura Return US$ 292, Mombasa Return US$ 325, Kilimanjaro Return USD 311 inclusive of taxes. But the passengers can pay in Ugandan currency as well.
In April, government received the first two of the four Bombardier CRJ900 regional Aircrafts that were ordered by Uganda National Airlines Company in July 2018.
The third jet will be delivered this month and the fourth plane is expected in September 2019. The commercialization of the airline will start on 28 august to various destinations in Kenya, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo), Ghana, Nigeria, Rwanda, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Zanzibar.
Established in May 1976, Uganda Airlines, started operations in 1977 and was liquidated in May 2001 after efforts to privatize the company failed due to massive debts it had incurred.
Its revival now means Uganda Airlines will have to compete with Africa’s best such as South Africa Airways, Ethiopian Airways, Kenya Airways, RwandAir and others on the continent, not forgetting International ones such as Emirates Airways, Qatar Airways and Turkish Airways among others that land at Entebbe International Airport.