Uganda’s revived flag carrier, Uganda Airlines, intends to start commercial operations next month, with the first flight from Entebbe to Nairobi.
In his State of the Nation address, Uganda President, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, said the carrier would deploy the recently acquired Bombardier CRJ900s on the first regional routes. The airline received two Bombardier CRJ900s in April and is awaiting delivery of more.
“Commercial operations are expected to commence in July. The other two Bombardier CRJ900s are expected in July and September and recruitment of key staff for the national airline is complete,” said the President.
Ephraim Kalyebara Bagenda, airline’s Chief Executive Director, recently told local media that they were working around the clock to acquire an air operator certificate (AOC). "On securing the AOC we have finished the first two difficult phases,” he said additionally
that they were working on the third and the fourth phases. “We have to ensure that we have the necessary personnel and the necessary requisites for launching an airline. Once the AOC process is complete, it is a matter of putting our house in order," said Bagenda.
The aircrafts, that carry Uganda’s national flag on the wingtip, are expected to significantly boost the countries trade on the global market and also facilitate travel across the continent. The arrival of the bombardiers and revival of Uganda Airlines is a step closer to UTB’s goal of marketing destination Uganda.
Commenting about the arrival of the aircrafts, UTB CEO, Lilly Ajarova, expressed optimism at the benefits that this will bring to Uganda’s tourism industry.
“We are extremely pleased to see Uganda Airlines revived after 17years. As the institution mandated to promote Uganda, we are ready and excited to work with Uganda Airlines and Civil Aviation Authority to ensure that both local and international travelers have a great customer experience aboard these aircrafts.
“As UTB, we pledge to use this new development as a tool to promote destination Uganda - the Pearl of Africa,” she noted.
The new bombardiers will be flying regional routes within the East African Community. The destination flights routes include Nairobi, Kigali, Darelsalam, Kilimajaro Mombasa, Goma, Zanzibar, Harare, Mogadishu and Addis Ababa.