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Uganda Airlines Bombardier CRJ900 aircraft lands at Entebbe International Airport | Coastweek

ENTEBBE (Xinhua) -- Uganda Airlines Bombardier CRJ900 aircraft lands at Entebbe International Airport in Entebbe, Uganda. XINHUA PHOTO - JOSEPH KIGGUNDU

Uganda Airlines launches commercial flights for national carrier

KAMPALA Uganda (Xinhua) -- Uganda’s national carrier, Uganda Airlines, on Tuesday started its commercial flights with the first one heading to Nairobi, Kenya.

While launching the flight at Entebbe International Airport, 40km south of the capital Kampala, Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda, who represented President Yoweri Museveni, described the moment as joyous and historic given that the carrier had earlier collapsed in 2001.

.Uganda Airlines launches commercial flights for national carrier | Coastweek


"Each year, Ugandans were donating 450 million U.S. dollars to other countries through foreign travel.

Besides, there was a lot of inconvenience to travelling Ugandans by not having direct flights and even being charged discriminatively air fares," Museveni said in his speech read by Rugunda.

The launch was telecast live.

The airline will first fly to seven destinations in the region and these include Nairobi (Kenya), Mogadishu (Somalia), Juba (South Sudan) and Dar es Salaam (Tanzania); and then to Mombasa (Kenya), Kilimanjaro (Tanzania) and Bujumbura (Burundi).

"Uganda plays a critical role in the geopolitical and economic stability of East Africa as a region and as a nation, we are strategically placed to serve our neighbors," Museveni said.

ENTEBBE (Xinhua) -- Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and his wife Janet Museveni are seen inside a bombardier CRJ900 aircraft at Entebbe International Airport . XINHUA PHOTO - JOSEPH KIGGUNDU
"There has never been a better time to commence commercial operations than now when passenger traffic is growing given the increasing demand for Uganda tourism, business opportunities and a peaceful environment created by the NRM Government," he said.

The NRM (National Resistance Movement) is the ruling political party in Uganda.

The country in April received two new CRJ900 Bombardier aircraft, with two more expected next month.

The country also expects two airbuses in 2020.


Uganda Airlines launches direct flights to Somalia amid improved security

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- Uganda Airlines on Thursday launched its direct flights from Entebbe to Somali capital, Mogadishu, joining the growing list of international airlines that fly into the Horn of Africa nation.

Abdullahi Godah Barre, Somali Minister of Education who welcomed the inaugural flight said Uganda was a popular destination for Somalis seeking education opportunities and direct flights would further boost the ties between the two countries.

"Uganda comes after Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, and Turkey in attracting students from Somalia," Abdullahi said in a statement issued in Mogadishu.

He added that the presence of international airlines is testimony that Somalia is consolidating its peace and security, and is open for business.

Somalia, which is witnessing an impressive growth of its aviation sector, is now attracting some of the world’s best known international airlines due to improving peace and security as well as expanding business opportunities across the country.

Turkish Airlines, Kenya Airways, Ethiopia Airlines, and Qatar Airlines are some of the airlines that operate regular flights into Mogadishu.

Jennifer Bamuturaki, airline’s commercial director said they have started with four flights a week, and expect to increase.

"We will be flying into Mogadishu four times a week, every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday.

"We are expecting two more Bombardier planes in October this year.

"Once we have the aircraft delivered to our fleet, we will increase our flights to Mogadishu to six times a week," said Bamuturaki.

Abdulkadir Ahmed Kheyr Abdi, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, cited the previously lengthy transit hours that passengers travelling between Entebbe and Mogadishu had to endure, but now this would be a story of the past.

"We have many passengers who travel, but there were no direct flights and they had to suffer lengthy waiting times and other inconveniences," Abdulkadir said.


Uganda sets launch of commercial flights for new look National Carrier


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