Uganda Airlines takes to the skies in about a week’s time on August 28 to resume commercial flights after about 18 years.
On its twitter page, the airline is encouraging passengers to book their tickets on its website: “…please be informed that you can now book your ticket to any destination of your choice on our website. Follow link and book early bird tickets at lowest prices on the market.”
The first flight is expected to leave Entebbe at 6.00am and land at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi at 7.15am.
The national carrier will start with flights to three destinations: Nairobi, Dar-es Salaam and Mogadishu.
It will be flying the Bombardier CRJ-900 aircrafts, with sitting capacity of 76 passengers to regional destinations.
The destinations include Johannesburg, Kigali, Addis Ababa, Juba, Zanzibar, Bujumbura, Accra and Kinshasa.
The first two CRJ-900s aircraft were delivered in April while two more are expected to be delivered in September.
Fares in Uganda Shillings
Leading to its maiden commercial flight after the comeback, Uganda Airlines recently publicised what they called promotional fares to run for two months
Nairobi Return $278, Dar es Salaam, $286, Mombasa Return $325, Bujumbura Return $292, Kilimanjaro Return $311, Mogadishu Return $590 and Juba Return $225. All the fares are inclusive of taxes.
Passengers have the choice of paying their ticket fares in US dollars or Uganda shillings.
The carrier will initially fly twice daily to Nairobi and Juba, thrice daily to Mogadishu and thrice weekly to Mombasa.
Recently, Works and Transport Minister Monica Ntege Azuba said: “These destinations will be operated first to orient staff and service providers on Uganda Airlines procedures and standards. Immediately after that, other destinations will be added and they include, Kilimanjaro, Juba, Bujumbura and Mombasa.”
She added that after delivery of the additional two aircrafts in September, Bujumbura, Kinshasa, Khartoum, Addis Ababa, Zanzibar, Kigali, Harare, Lusaka and Johannesburg will be the other destinations.
The national carrier was expected to start commercial operations in July 2019 following the arrival of two CRJ900 Bombardier aircrafts in April.
Azuba said that the airline has been working towards completing the five-phase certification process required to acquire Air Operator Certificates (AOC), which shows that the crew can fly safely to any part of the world.
The airline was able to acquire the air operator’s certificate from the aviation regulator, Uganda Civil Aviation Authority last month.
Airline revival to boost economy
Minister Ntege Azuba, on her Twitter account, said on Wednesday that the revival of Uganda Airlines comes with a major objective of increasing Uganda’s competitiveness by reducing the cost of air transport, easing connectivity and leveraging opportunities in tourism, agriculture, minerals, oil and gas sectors.
Uganda Civil Aviation Authority Manager Public Affairs Vianney Luggya also believes that the national airline will boost traffic at Entebbe airport thereby positively contributing to the national economy of Uganda. Drawing the Kenya Airways example, Luggya, while talking to the media recently, said:
“…Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, because of a national airlines, they have so many passengers in and out of Nairobi. While we were talking of 1.8 million passengers in Entebbe, JKIA, which is one of the several international airports in Kenya, had over 7 million passengers. This is largely attributed to the fact that they have a national airline. While the airline itself may not be doing well, it actually brings in a lot of traffic in the country. The traffic that comes into contributes to the national economy.”