“As promised, Uganda Airlines has completed the 5 phase certification process required to obtain the Air Operator Certificate (AOC) as per the regulations. We are on schedule to start commercial flights by end of August starting with Nairobi, Dar es Salaam and Mogadishu,” Monica Azuba Ntege, the cabinet minister for transport and works broke the good news Saturday.
Following the completion of these certification processes, what is clear is the long wait will finally come to an end next month.
This is after management of Uganda Airlines revealing the exact date on which commercial flights are set to commence.
According to Jenifer Bamuturaki, the Commercial Director of the National Carrier, the first flight will be to Nairobi on 28 August.
The Carrier will also fly to Juba and Mogadishu on the same day.
Speaking about the first flights, Bamuturaki said they have come up with promotional fares that will last for two months.
According to promotional fares, a return journey from Nairobi will cost $278, Juba return $225, Mogadishu Return $590, Dar Return $286, Bujumbura Return $292, Mombasa Return $325 and Kilimanjaro Return $311.
Bookings for tickets can be made online starting on 10th or at their offices located at Victoria University House on Jinja Road, Opposite Esso Corner.
The other offices are at Victoria Mall Entebbe and others at the Main Airport.
Commenting on Uganda’s choice of aircraft; the Bombardier CRJ 900s, Ephraim Bagenda, the managing director and chief executive officer of Uganda National Airlines said the brand had turned out to be the most suitable in several aspects that were considered.
“It has more leg room than many other brands, more cabin space, bigger overhead baggage bins than the Embraer, wider gallery space for better inflight service, more head space for taller (6’2″ ft person) and mood lighting – the first of its kind,” he stated.
It carries 74 passengers; 12 in Business Class and 62 in Economy Class.
On competition, Cornwell Muleya the Technical Director at Uganda National Airlines Company said he is optimistic Uganda Airlines will be one of the biggest airlines on the continent in 15 years to come.
He says that much as the story about the aviation industry in Africa is generally not good, there are also some good stories and they have learnt from both.
“If you read through the business plans, there are sections which talk about lessons learnt, what we should avoid and what we should do to run this Airline as a viable business.”
Meanwhile the Airline has been handed an inter code of UR and letter code of UGD by IATA.