Uganda Airlines plane in the Sky on Monday

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Uganda has relaunched its national carrier, Uganda Airlines, hoping to take a slice of the East African aviation business that is currently dominated by Ethiopian Airlines. After a delay to flights that lasted nearly 20 years, Uganda Airlines has once again taken to the skies above Africa, restoring its status as the country’s national carrier.

Commercial services will resume todaywednesday,a flight from Entebbe to Nairobi in neighboring Kenya.

The inaugural flight to neighboring Kenya on Tuesday, reviving a national carrier founded by former dictator Idi Amin and liquidated almost two decades ago.

Uganda ‘s Minister of Works Monica Azuba disembarks from Uganda Airlines plane soon after the official inauguration by Prime Minister Rt Hon. Dr Ruhakana Rugunda at Entebbe Airport. Courtesy Photo.

Uganda Airlines is launching into increasingly crowded East African skies, where both Rwanda and Tanzania have in recent years revived their national airlines in a bid to capture a slice of the booming market.

They are taking on regional giants Kenya Airways — which continues to expand despite struggling with years of losses and management woes — and Ethiopian Airlines, which largely dominates the skies.

“Uganda Airlines is coming to compete in the market alongside other airlines,” said Transport Minister Monica Azuba.

Uganda Airlines said its fleet of twin-engined Bombardier CRJ-900 regional jet airliners will soon connect to destinations including Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania, Mogadishu in Somalia and Juba in South Sudan.

Uganda Airlines plane .Courtesy Photo

More farther flung places will follow, says Jennifer Bamuturaki, the airline’s director of marketing and public affairs. Services to Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Ghana, South Africa, and Rwanda are expected to be added from September.

The airline was initially scheduled to resume operations in July but had to gain certification to prove its crews can fly safely to any part of the world.

The carrier, initially founded in 1976 and wound up in 2001

Uganda took delivery of two of four Bombardier jets in April and expects the others later this year. The first of two long-haul Airbus jets will arrive in December 2020 and the second in the following month, according to the airline.

Uganda Airlines said its fleet of twin-engined Bombardier CRJ-900 regional jet airliners will soon connect to destinations including Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania, Mogadishu in Somalia and Juba in South Sudan.

Places will follow, says Jennifer Bamuturaki, the airline’s director of marketing and public affairs. Services to Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Ghana, South Africa, and Rwanda are expected to be added from September.

The airline was initially scheduled to resume operations in July but had to gain certification to prove its crews can fly safely to any part of the world.There was a slight delay in acquiring this.

The notable exception is Ethiopian Airlines, which analysts say has avoided the mistakes of other regional carriers by not falling prey to political interference.

“We undertake to be a world-class airline that will exceed customer expectations through high-quality service,” Ugandan Airlines CEO Ephraim Bagenda said at a ceremony on Tuesday at Entebbe International Airport, which lies 40km south of the capital, Kampala, and is the country’s sole international airport.

The airline will initially fly to seven regional destinations in Kenya, Tanzania, Somalia, South Sudan, and Burundi, the CEO said ahead of the inaugural flight to Kenya’s capital, Nairobi.

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