Ugandans excited as Uganda Airlines lines up new routes to boost trade and tourism

Uganda Airlines, the country’s national carrier, has lined up an additional eight routes in its aggressive market expansion drive to boost trade and tourism , CEO Jennifer Bamuturaki has revealed .

Bamuturaki was speaking to media executives from 20 top Ugandan media houses in western Uganda during the company’s first media lab program aimed at empowering media managers with information and knowledge about the airlines and aviation industry in EAC , Africa and globally . The lab was also attended by officials from African Airlines Association (AFRAA) officials led by the General Secretary ,Mr. Abderahmane Berthe, and the Uganda Media Center Executive Director , Mr. Ofwono Opondo .

Uganda Airlines CEO Jennifer Bamuturaki interacting with Ugandan media Executives

The jovial Bamuturaki said that Uganda Airlines plans to launch new routes for at least eight destinations which include Jeddah and Riyadh,  Guangzhou and London.

Other routes which are designed for the African market are , Lagos, Goma, Lusaka, Harare and Cape Town.  The exciting network expansion comes at the time when Uganda is set to host the 55th  African Airlines Association (AFRAA) Annual General Assembly (AGA) and Summit  from 19-21 November 2023 at the Speke Resort in Entebbe, Uganda – The Pearl of Africa

The AGA which will be proudly hosted by Uganda Airlines is expected to attract about 500 high profile delegates from the aviation industry in Africa, Europe, Middle East, Asia and North America.

By launching new routes, Uganda Airlines will be answering to AFRAA’s push and desire to reduce the cost of travel and improve air travel connectivity within the African continent .

Bamuturaki  explained that for the Jeddah route , a three-times scheduled service would start in September, using the current permit that runs up to July 2024.

Mr. Ofwono Opondo ,the ED Uganda Media Center making a point

“The operator’s permit that we currently have will go up to July next year. We plan to use that to launch scheduled services to Jeddah, and then extend it further to July 2024,” she stated.

Jeddah could turn out to be a lucrative route for the national carrier given  the more than ten thousand migrant labor market to Saudi Arabia and the middle east .

Again related to the new routes , Uganda Airlines management has announced the  appointment of an Indian Travel company, Minar Travels (India) Pvt Ltd as its General Sales Agent in India in preparation to launch the India route.

 “As the market GSA, Minar Travels will be supporting the launch of Uganda Airlines’ new service from Entebbe to Mumbai, expected to start later this year,” the  Airlines said in a statement.

Minar Travels brings onboard a wealth of experience in the Indian travel market and will be providing Uganda Airlines with reservation and ticketing services, as well as sales activities and market development to effectively position the African carrier in the India market.

“Our choice of Minar Travels was informed by their understanding of the market in India and demonstrable experience, and we are confident that this partnership provides us a strong foundation and a sustainable future on the route. We look forward to a great market presence as we connect Incredible India to the Pearl of Africa and beyond,” said Jenifer Bamuturaki, CEO Uganda Airlines.

Uganda Airlines is one of Africa’s fast growing airlines, operating from its strategically located hub at Entebbe International Airport in Uganda.

“Minar Group is excited to represent Uganda Airlines as their GSA in India. The fact that Uganda Airlines connects to most of the major cities in East and South Africa will make it an excellent product and a choice airline for Indian travelers to Uganda and the rest of Africa,” said HS Duggal, Managing Director Minar Travels.

Industry experts have welcomed the move by Uganda Airlines to open up new routes saying it will be beneficial for the Ugandan traders to move their products fast and at reduced cost . Mr. Amon Kasibante explained that reduced lead times in travel and doing business can only be of added advantage for trade between Uganda and other international destinations and also promote the country’s tourism sector.

“Ugandans especially those involved in international trade should be excited about these new travel opportunities being offered by our national carrier, the Uganda Airlines . If these new routes are managed well, it will be a win -win situation for everyone involved. Let Ugandans travel by Uganda Airlines to grow our economy ,” Rosemary Mukisa a travel agent stated .

The airline’s current network includes scheduled flights to 11 destinations in eight countries that include, Nairobi and Mombasa in Kenya; Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar and Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Kinshasa in DR Congo, Bujumbura in Burundi, Juba in South Sudan, Mogadishu in Somalia, Johannesburg in South Africa, and Dubai, United Arab Emirates.



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

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