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Uganda Airlines makes first flight out of Africa

Uganda Airlines' Airbus planes at Entebbe airport

Uganda Airlines' Airbus planes at Entebbe airport

At least 81 passengers have today flown aboard the maiden Uganda Airlines' flight to Dubai.

The 259-capacity Airbus A330-800 Neo aircraft left Entebbe international airport after 12:18 pm on Monday, with 76 passengers in economy and five others flying business class.

The flight to Dubai was initially scheduled to take place at an earlier date but was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic which came with travel restrictions and low demand for aviation services.

Today's flight was flagged off by the state minister for Transport, Fred Byamukama, making it the first commercial flight of the revived Uganda Airlines out of Africa. The national flag carrier has been operating routes in Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, and Tanzania since 2019, when the airline was relaunched.

Captain Steven Wegoye, the interim director of safety at Uganda Airlines says the commencement of the flight to and from Dubai is a milestone because it is the first international route that the airline will operate. The airline is expected to commence flights to London next month, Guangzhou and Mumbai next year.

"So we will fly twice a week to Dubai until the route picks up, where 50 per cent of the total seats are booked," Wegoye said, "But we expect to fly three times a week."

Byamukama urged Ugandans to use the airline because it is operating direct flights to Dubai at an affordable price. The airline charged $419 (Shs 1.5 million) for the maiden flight - below the $500 (Shs 1.8 million) charged by Emirates and Flydubai for the same route.

Meanwhile, the government is optimistic that the Dubai route will boost tourism numbers and cargo exports for flowers, tea, cocoa, minerals, and other items to the Middle East and the Gulf region. Patrick Ocailap, the deputy permanent secretary of ministry of Finance says the direct flights to Dubai, about 5 and half hours, are a great deal for businesspeople, tourists and migrant workers.

According to the ministry of Foreign Affairs, trade between Uganda and the United Arab Emirates has grown significantly since 2009 when the two countries established diplomatic relations. For instance, exports from Uganda to the UAE increased from $300 million in 2009 to $1.9 billion in 2020.

During the same period, investment figures rose from $150 million to over $800 million while remittances from the UAE currently stand at $200 million.

The launch of the Dubai flight coincides with the ongoing Dubai Trade Expo in the UAE which will run for six months ending March 2022 and Uganda is marketing itself as a tourist and investment destination.

Comments

+2 #1 Abigail Meri 2021-10-04 17:56
congratulations
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+3 #2 Ensi eno! 2021-10-04 21:34
Now that our Crane has started flying out of Africa, we need to improve our affairs and put an end to ugly scenes such as arresting bailed MPs as if they are thugs because the world is always watching.

The media should think twice before showing our dirty linen to the world etc etc...such stories like 'Uganda Airlines plane runs out of fuel at Dar Airport' should never see the light of day...as if it was in the air and it ran out fuel!
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0 #3 Aliya rich 2021-10-05 06:50
Congratulations on the new achievement, progression on the side of the air line shows that every little energy designed to enrich our country is appreciated and recognized.

As a person working abroad when I see good stuff here always thinking of my motherland how we could do better if improve our selves step by step.

Seconding ensi eno our media should do justice to the country, people in the world see us as worst than we are because of the dirty stuff highly illuminated by the media. Banange tweddemu.

And Ugandans also appreciate good stuff coming our way, now you will here people saying Ani alinya eyo.
PLEASE SUPPORT DOMESTIC PRODUCTS #uganda airlines. P
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-1 #4 Auwalu yakubu Umar 2021-10-05 11:18
Congratulations Uganda i am so happy Masha Allah
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+3 #5 Lakwena 2021-10-05 13:37
Quoting Ensi eno!:
Now that our Crane has started flying out of Africa, we need to improve our affairs and put an end to ugly scenes such as arresting bailed MPs as if they are thugs because the world is always watching.

The media should think twice before showing our dirty linen to the world etc etc...such stories like 'Uganda Airlines plane runs out of fuel at Dar Airport' should never see the light of day...as if it was in the air and it ran out fuel!


But Ensi eno, which is better (a greater or lessor evil); to clean the dirty linen and hang it in Public to dry, or keep hiding it to fester into an epidemic/pandemic?

In other words, unless out rot is exposed by the media to whoever cares to know, it becomes an absurdity and national self-deception about progress.
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+1 #6 Zaitun 2021-10-08 19:02
Stop being childish in trying to hide evil things taking place in the country or, you will be suspected of trying to encourage evil to continue.

You should not think that its only The Observer writing evil about Uganda; the worst scrips come from foreign journalists/media.

If you want the image of the country to be clean, tell your beloved leaders who you adore to stop doing evil to Ugandans.

If you only think about money they give you and, good sfuff when you people are dying each day due to lack of drugs and hospital equipment, when innocent people are getting killed as if they were wild animals, when top govt. officers are dealing in slave trade under the pretext of sending Ugandan girls to get jobs.... I feel extremely sorry to see my country engaged in modern slave trade and you people appreciate that practice!!

What a humiliating practice you accept; is that what you call protection of the weak and the poor?
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