The Uganda Airlines has revived its commercial flights for the first time in nearly 18 years with maiden flight to Nairobi, a move which will enhance Kenya’s regional integration agenda.
According to East African Community and Regional Development Cabinet Secretary (CS), Adan Mohamed, the entry of Uganda Airlines into the aviation industry is quite significant in terms of promoting regional trade and integration in Kenya and improving the efficiency of travel within the East African region therefore enhancing the ease of doing business.
“The addition of Uganda Airlines to our regional and country networks demonstrates Uganda`s commitment to improving connectivity on the African continent, while creating new opportunities in the region,” said the CS.
He added that with the increasing demand for travel, the launch of Uganda Airlines in the region meant that citizens of both countries would be able to travel quickly and efficiently, have shorter and direct flights, frequency and convenience at affordable costs.
He further stated that the government’s expectation is to see the volumes of passengers and cargo increase between the two countries and more people would have the opportunity to see and experience the natural beauty of our different nations.
“As Kenyans, we consider the launch of Uganda Airlines flight to Kenya as a powerful tool to create travel efficiency, promote more trade and investment, generate revenue and create jobs for our citizens in the two countries,” said Mohamed.
The CS said that Uganda Airlines would initially be flying to Nairobi twice a day and later to Mombasa by mid next month noting that the airline would fly to seven new destinations from Entebbe.
Speaking on Tuesday during the launch of Uganda Airline Commercial Flights, the Uganda Minister of Works and Transport, Monicah Azuba said that the launch of Uganda Airlines represented another commitment by the Ugandan Government in its effort to promote regional trade and integration.
She stated that the Airline would fly to Nairobi, Mombasa, Dar es Salaam, Bujumbura, Juba, Kilimanjaro and Mogadishu and thereafter expand its network to other destinations.
“I want to encourage the travelling public to book Uganda Airlines and enjoy our faster, convenient and quality services. The airline industry is a fast growing industry in domestic, regional and global market and air transport has made the world become a global village. Therefore, the entry of Uganda Airlines in the regional aviation industry will improve the efficiency of travel within the region and enhance the ease of doing business in the region,” said Azuba.
She thanked the Kenyan government for the continued support and partnership in their endeavour to take Uganda Airlines to greater heights.
In attendance was Uganda Airlines Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Ephraim Bagenda who said that Uganda Airlines would be served by a team of competent and highly trained multi nationals who have served in various capacities across the globe and would work tirelessly to make it a success.
“We are aware of the immense task that awaits us. Our coming into the market which is already volatile doesn’t necessarily mean we will not be able to compete. We believe that Uganda Airlines presents another dimension to the travel industry and together with other key stakeholders will propel the aviation sector to greater heights,” said Bagenda.
He further thanked the government of Kenya through the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure for accepting Uganda Airlines to operate in Kenya’s territory adding that with this route, it would be easy be easy to fly passengers to and from Kenya to the rest of the world through the hub in Entebbe.
Uganda and Kenya have a long brotherly and extraordinary partnership. For many years, both countries have demonstrated time and again that they could accomplish amazing things through strong cooperation and commitment. The revival of Uganda Airlines with daily flights between Entebbe and Nairobi will help to cement the relationship between our two countries.
By Charity Kanyoro/Joseph Ng’ang’a