National carrier Uganda Airlines has resumed operations with its flights taking off for the first time in two decades. Uganda Airlines took off on its first flight to Kenya on Tuesday, media reports said.
This restores its position as Uganda’s national carrier. Initially, Uganda Airlines planned to resume operations in July but it had to delay to receive the necessary certification.
As Uganda Airlines resume operations, it will focus on the East African market. The country will be relying on oil and tourism sectors to revive the airline.
For now, the airline will fly to seven regional destinations in Kenya, Tanzania, Somalia, South Sudan and Burundi, media reports said. CEO Ephraim Bagenda, told the media, “We undertake to be a world-class airline that will exceed customer expectations through high-quality service.”
Later this year, it plans to schedule flights to south and central African destinations.
Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda said that the airline will lower the cost of air transport and ensure seamless connectivity. In April, it received its first two Bombardier CRJ900 planes and is expecting two more planes next month. It said that they will connect to destinations such as Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania, Mogadishu in Somalia and Juba in South Sudan.
Media reports said the airline can anticipate tough competition from Ethiopian Airlines in addition to airlines based in Rwanda and Tanzania.
Citizens will have direct flights now as Uganda Airlines resume operations. This means they can avoid taking expensive indirect routes from other regional airlines.
In late 2020, the airline might receive one Airbus A330neo and the second one in early 2021. Reports said that it will pay $110 million for each of those Airbus aircraft it will receive.
Other far-off destinations such as Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Ghana, South Africa, and Rwanda are expected to follow on its schedule from September.