Uganda Airlines at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport
Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda launches Uganda Airlines commercial flights. File Photo

Uganda Airlines commercial flights commence after a successful inaugural flight to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Kenya

Uganda Airlines will make its first commercial flight today on Wednesday 28 August 2019, after a successful inaugural flight to Nairobi Kenya yesterday on the 28 August 2019.

Its initial commercial flights’ phase will be to seven destinations including Nairobi (Kenya), Juba (South Sudan), Mogadishu (Somalia) and Dar es Salaam (Tanzania).

But later on, on September 13 2019, Uganda airline will extend its flight to Mombasa, Bujumbura and Kilimanjaro.

And in November 2019, the revived airline will begin travels to southern and central African regions.

Uganda Airline is back to service after nearly 20 years. It will be funded by the government but later on, the airline hopes to be self-financing two years from now. 

Flight UR202 Bombardier jet with selected government officials on board yesterday made its maiden flight from Entebbe International Airport to Jomo Kenyatta Airport at 12:10 pm slightly later than the scheduled time and landed at Jomo Kenyatta Airport an hour later.  

Officials include; Minister of Works and Transport, Eng Monica Ntege Azuba, Ephraim Bagenda, Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on National Economy, Syda Bumba, Prime Minister, Ruhakana Rugunda among others, Uganda Airline officials, Moses Golola and journalists were the selected persons to board the Uganda airline maiden flight.

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Uganda Airlines at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport2
Inside Uganda Airline first flight to Nairobi at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. File Photo

However, at the inaugural ceremony held at Entebbe International Airport VIP Lounge, Prime Minister, Dr Ruhakana Rugunda who represented the President said that Uganda needed to revive its airlines to reduce on the large sums of money donated to other countries through travel expenses.

He said Uganda spends about $450m annually on foreign travels, so Uganda Airline will help reduce the expenses.

Rugunda adds that the Bombardiers will offer cheap direct flights to Ugandans instead of having expensive, indirect routes.

Rugunda also urged Airlines to take advantage of the natural endowment that Uganda has which is a potential tourism attraction.

“There has never been a better time to launch commercial flights than now when passenger traffic is growing due to increased demand for Uganda’s tourism,” Rugunda said.

Rugunda adds that people from countries neighbouring Uganda such as DRC, Burundi, Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda and South Sudan will be able to access the Ugandan market and connect to other destinations as well through Uganda airline.

“Uganda plays a critical role in the geopolitical and economic stability of East African as a region. And as a nation, we are strategically placed to serve our friends.

Upon arrival at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, Kenya the Aircraft received a warm welcome that includes a water salute as a custom practised in Kenya.

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And after they headed for a press conference held at Sheraton Hotel in Nairobi, where Adan Mohammed, the Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for East African Community officially congratulated and welcomed Uganda Airline upon its historical revival moment.

In his message, Adan said it’s upon the passengers now to choose which flight to take out of the many that stage in Kenya.

While, Jonny Andersen, Managing Director for Kenya Airports Authority said that they are very much delighted and proud to see that Uganda Airline has joined Kenya Airline fraternity at JKIA.

“We extend to you a warm welcome and wish you success at this airport,” Andersen said.

“The decision by Uganda Airline to fly to JKIA is an eloquent testimony to the fact that member states of the East African Community are committed to deepening co-operation by a member state in the aviation sector,” Andersen added.

About Uganda Airline

Uganda Airline was founded in 1976 by Uganda’s former dictator Iddi Amin Dada following economic embargo imposed on the government in 1975.

Uganda Airline was 100% owned by the government of Uganda.

With an initial share capital of US$70m and an aircraft fleet made up of 15 vessels with operations routes in Africa, Europe and the Middle East.

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In 2001 airline was liquidated which resulted in the sale of the Airline’s remaining assets to settle the corporation’s debts and other liabilities. And this effectively left Uganda without a National carrier.

Uganda approached several private sectors players to take the place of the National Airline, but with failed attempts.

A 2001 private sector initiative under Africa One was established, operating and closing during the same year due to limited capitalisation.