By Our Reporter
21st Sept 2023
In the effort to increase the country’s economic and other potential benefits, Uganda Airlines is set to start direct flights to Mumbai, India on October 7.
Mumbai will bring the number of international flights by the national carrier to two after Dubai, with Guangzhou, China also planned in November, according to the management.
The airline, code UR will operate three flights a week from Entebbe for both Mumbai and Lagos, while the landing rights secured by UR in China in June last year could see the airline start with one weekly flight.
Currently, it flies to 13 destinations, 11 of them being regional (intra-Africa).
The local aviation industry could get a further boost this year following the oversight audit of Entebbe International Airport this week by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) it will open Uganda Airlines to fly more international destinations, according to Edward Katumba Wamala, the Minister for Works and Transport.
In 2017, Entebbe passed the ICAO universal safety audit but had never undergone the universal safety oversight audit since 2014, the fact that the UK delayed allowing UR direct flights to Heathrow since last year.
Current destinations include Nairobi and Mombasa in Kenya; Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar, and Kilimanjaro in Tanzania; Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Bujumbura in Burundi, Juba in South Sudan, Mogadishu in Somalia and Johannesburg in South Africa.
The company also has plans in the short term to fly to Jeddah through Riyadh while discussions are ongoing with authorities for Cape Town (South Africa) Goma (DRC), Harare (Zimbabwe), and Lusaka (Zambia), according to Jennifer Bamuturaki, the Uganda Airlines CEO.
The South African destinations are increasingly becoming lucrative following the withdrawal from Entebbe by Airlink which had taken over from the collapsed South African Airways.