By Moses Sserwanga

in Entebbe  – Uganda

Airlink, the independent Southern African regional airline, is the latest to add a new route to Entebbe- Uganda while  expanding its intra-Africa market with the launch of its Johannesburg-Entebbe service.

The inuagural flight from Johannesburg to Entebbe was witnessed by Uganda’s   State Minister for Transport Mr. Fred Byamukama who welcomed the new airline -noting that it would facilitate trade and easy travel between the two sister countries .  

Other officials at the colourful ceremony held at Entebbe international Airport included ,Ms. Rebecca Nampamba the County Manager ,  Mr. Moorosi a Director at Airlink , Mr. Linden Birns  who handles the media and communications function and South Africa High commisioner to Uganda , Ms L Xingwana.

In a speech read for the Civil Aviation Authority Director General  by Mr. Sam Wonekha , stated  that as a landlocked country, the government of Uganda attaches a lot of importance to the aviation sub sector because it guarantees the country direct international access and thus promoting tourism, trade and social-economic development.

“The government’s aviation strategy is to leverage Uganda’s geographical location to become a regional transit hub for air transport so that the country can compete successfully for economic growth opportunities,” he explained .

As a result, Mr Wonekha told the guest that   the government of Uganda  has undertaken several interventions aimed at developing an air transport network that will connect Uganda to all major cities in the World. The government has revived the National carrier, a private limited company that is managing Uganda Airlines launched in the financial year 2018/19.

Additionally , government is also  implementing a project for the upgrade and expansion of facilities at Entebbe International Airport (worth USD200million).This is intended to accommodate  current and future air traffic and to also make it comply with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) safety requirements. Phase 1 of the construction is almost completed, awaiting start of the Phase 2 worth USD150million.

Plans are underway to improve and upgrade facilities at the regional and upcountry aerodromes to meet international standards and open new routes through signing of more Bilateral Air Services Agreements, amongst others.

What Airlink offers

Return flights on the route will operate twice weekly and are timed to provide convenient connections to Airlink’s domestic and regional network to and from various Southern African destinations.

“Entebbe is not just Uganda’s primary tourism and trade, it is also strategically positioned for access to the wider Eastern African Community nations and the Great Lakes, which represent significant markets.  Our flights, will enable closer relations, promote economic activity and make it possible for tourists to enjoy the diverse array of travel experiences on offer in South Africa and Uganda as well as Southern and Eastern African,” explains Airlink CEO and Managing Director, Rodger Foster.

The  launch of  Airlink – Johannesburg- Entebbe  route follows its earlier postponement after South Africa and Uganda temporarily tightened their respective COVID-19 travel restrictions.   Airlink is marking the occasion with limited period celebratory fares on the route.

“Airlink’s modern fleet and strict compliance with bio-safety measures enables us to provide safe air travel and support the revival of tourism and economic activity that are vital for creating and sustaining jobs and livelihoods in Uganda and South Africa,” added Mr Foster.

Airlink’s great value for money fares include a 20kg free economy class checked in luggage allowance plus a 15kg sporting equipment allowance.  Onboard, our customers are treated to a complimentary light meal, refreshments, comfort with generous leg room and a choice of aisle or window seat (our flights do not have middle seats).

Customers also have the freedom to book business class on this route and enjoy Airlink’s intra-continental Business Class service available on the state-of-the-art Embraer E-jet, The cabin offers six business class seats, generous pitch with plenty legroom and wide seats arranged in a two-plus-one abreast configuration.   Onboard business class service on these flights includes complimentary meals and beverages, a 30kg check-in luggage allowance, priority boarding and lounge access at selected airports. 

Flight Schedule 

  • 4Z 190 departs Johannesburg 21h15. Arrives Entebbe 02h30 on Wednesdays, Sundays.
  • 4Z 191 departs Entebbe 03h30.  Arrives Johannesburg 07.00 on Mondays,Thursdays.

To plan, book and manage your Airlink journey, visit www.flyairlink.com or download the new FlyAirlink smartphone app, or contact your travel agent.   Customers in Uganda can also book through Airlink’s office in the Park Royal Mall, Buganda Road in Kampala or our Entebbe Airport office at Room 111 on the ground floor of the passenger terminal.

COVID-19 Health and Safety onboard Airlink flights 

The health and safety of our customers and employees are Airlink’s primary concern.  Airlink’s aircraft are equipped with High Efficiency Particulate Air Filters (HEPA), which effectively block 99.97% of particulates, including Coronavirus molecules.  These HEPA filters continually sterilize the air in our cabins, which is renewed entirely every three minutes.  Read more about the cabin air quality on Airlink’s Embraer E-JETS here and for its ERJ Regional Jet Cabin Air Quality here.

Biosecurity and Travel regulations

For the latest regulations, travellers should check with the appropriate government authority of the country/ies they intend to visit.   Click here for information on South Africa’s COVID-19 travel and PCR test requirements.  

Click here for information on the important steps and items you will need to follow before and as your proceed through any South African airport.   

About Airlink

Airlink was established in 1992 and is an independent, privately-owned and BBBEE airline.  It offers travellers a wide choice of flights across its comprehensive network of Southern African destinations, which it serves with a fleet of more than 50 modern jetliners. 

Like its industrious sunbird icon, in 2019 Airlink carried more than two million customers on more than 63 000 flights and its network includes more than 45 destinations in 12 African countries and St Helena Island*.   Airlink’s flight schedule is regularly updated and reflects the effects of COVID-19 and associated travel restrictions.  The latest information is available on the Airlink website here.  

Throughout 2020 and for 2021 so far, Airlink has been consistently ranked as South Africa’s most punctual airline**.  In August 2021 98.11% of Airlink flights departed on-time, illustrating its laser-focus on providing customers with excellent and reliable service.



Writer is a media and communications consultant And Advocate of the High Court of Uganda

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