FG Approves 2 More Entry Points for Uganda Airlines

Lagos, Nigeria | THE BLACK EXAMINER | The Federal Government has granted approval for two additional routes within Nigeria to be operated by Uganda Airlines, an East African carrier, directly from its base in Entebbe, Uganda.

This announcement came as Uganda Airlines commenced three weekly flights to Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) in Lagos from the Entebbe International Airport in Uganda.

Mr. Festus Keyamo, the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, spoke at the inaugural flight from Nigeria and announced that the Federal Government had given the green light for the airline to operate from Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA) in Kano and Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA) in Abuja.

With this approval, the East African carrier, equipped with six Airbus A330-800 aircraft and two CRJ900s, would have access to three destinations in Nigeria. Already, they have successfully initiated flights to Lagos.

Keyamo, who was represented at the event by Mr. Hassan Ejibunu, the Director of Transport Management at the Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace Management, emphasized that this approval aligns with the objectives of the Single Africa Air Transport Market (SAATM) and the Yamoussoukro Declaration (YD).

He also highlighted that this decision would enhance accessibility for passengers traveling to and from Eastern and Western Africa and beyond. Keyamo stressed the importance of this move in safeguarding the interests of Africa’s vast population, which accounts for approximately 17.4% of the world’s total population.

Furthermore, Keyamo encouraged domestic airline operators to take advantage of SAATM and YD to initiate regional and continental flights, emphasizing that this would contribute to the full implementation of the African Union Agenda 2063.

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Keyamo added, “The journey started on October 9, 2002, in Kampala, Uganda when the two respective ministers of both countries responsible for Civil Aviation initialled an Air Services Agreement (ASA) with the ultimate desire of bringing about a direct flight from Entebbe, Uganda to Ikeja, Lagos. Kudos must go to the management of the airline and the government and people of Uganda under the leadership of President Yoweri Museveni for this great feat.”

Jennifer Bamuturaki, CEO of Uganda Airlines, expressed her delight at the commencement of these flights, highlighting the significant reduction in flying time between Nigeria and Uganda due to these direct non-stop flights. She also pointed out that this would decrease the costs associated with travelers connecting through Europe.

She emphasized the importance of Uganda Airlines in providing easy exploration and seamless connectivity for passengers, particularly in the context of Nigeria being the continent’s largest economy.

Uganda Airlines plans to operate three weekly flights from Entebbe to Nigeria, departing on Mondays, Thursdays, and Sundays, with return flights on the same days. The economy class tickets will cost $510, while business class tickets will be priced at $1800.

Edward Wamala, the Minister of State for Transport in Uganda, commended the Nigerian government for approving the direct flights between the two countries. He believed that this non-stop flight schedule would bolster business, commerce, and tourism opportunities between Nigeria and Uganda.

Ambassador Nelson Ocherger, Uganda’s High Commissioner to Nigeria, expressed his joy about the inaugural flight of Uganda Airlines to Lagos, noting that this approval would create numerous business opportunities for both nations. He also expressed the expectation that Nigerian carriers would soon commence services to Uganda.

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He concluded, “The importance of air transport underscores the promotion of trade and investment and it gives Africa the opportunity to leverage on all AU agenda. We thank the Nigerian government for the necessary approval needed to do this operation.”

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