21-Years After Air Pact, Nigeria and Uganda Commence Flights

Uganda Airlines initiated flight services to Nigeria via Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, on Friday, marking a significant step towards connecting West Africa and Eastern Africa. This development unfolded 21 years after both nations inked the Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) for flight operations.

The airline’s inaugural flight from Entebbe International Airport arrived at MMIA, carrying passengers and a government delegation. The A330-800 aircraft received a ceremonial water cannon salute from the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) Firefighting and Rescue Services. As Uganda Airlines introduced its thrice-weekly flights to Lagos, the federal government granted approval for it to extend its services to Abuja and Kano airports, aligning with the Single Africa Air Transport Market (SAATM).

Stakeholders anticipate that this new flight operation will not only lead to reduced airfares but also enhance connectivity for passengers traveling between Europe, the Middle East, and Asia from both West and East Africa. Uganda Airlines’ CEO, Jenifer Bamuturaki, noted that the flight from Entebbe to Lagos takes approximately three and a half hours, significantly shortening the journey for passengers heading to Mumbai or Dubai. This development aligns with the spirit of the African Open Skies policy.

The Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Mr. Festus Keyamo, disclosed that the airline received two additional designations, further deepening the Nigeria-Uganda connectivity and fostering connections between passengers from both regions.

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