Uganda Air has launched its maiden flight to Mogadishu as it resumed operations after 20 years.
According to Uganda’s transport ministry, the airline has lined up four Bombardier Aircrafts and placed two orders for air buses expected next year for the commercial flight business.
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.
“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.
“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.
“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.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).