Uganda Airlines makes come-back landing in Juba
By Kidega Livingstone & Jale Richard
Uganda Airlines made its inaugural landing at Juba International Airport yesterday.
It comes a day after it made its first flight to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, Kenya in a bid to set foot in the East African market-dominated by Ethiopian airlines, Kenya airways, and RwandAir.
Uganda airlines will have regular flights from Entebbe to Juba to capture the market in order for the businessmen and other government officials to arrive early in their offices according to the Country Manager, Mr. Kisembo Moses.
Speaking to Juba Monitor in an interview yesterday, Kisembo said they will have two fights morning and evening.
“Wednesday one, Thursday two flights, Friday two, Saturday one, and Sunday one flight because Juba has a potential market in the region. We also have strong bilateral relationship with South Sudan, our people are very integrated so we are encouraging for a united Africa,” Kisembo said.
He revealed that the airline would help to connect the East Africa region with other African countries since the East African countries are landlocked counties.
“What we are going to do is to have air linkages between Juba and Uganda and we are not looking at the commercial bit of it but we are looking at the connectivity so there is easy movement of people and goods.”
He stated that the charges of the air ticket would be affordable.
The aircraft, Bombardier CRJ-900 is the first of its kind in Africa, according to Kisembo.
“It is a brand new aircraft we ordered them from Canada. We ordered four and we received two and two are coming and we expect them toward end of September this year,” he added.
Meanwhile Ogama Olinga Anthony, the Deputy Ambassador of Uganda to South Sudan said launching of the flight to Juba was historical because the two countries have long relationship.
He said the arrival of the airline would consolidate the long relationship between the leadership of the two countries especially in the area of integration and trading.
“I thank the government of South Sudan to fast track the process of availing the airline to connect the people in the two countries,” Olinga said.
For his part, the South Sudan Civil Aviation Authority Chief Executive Officer Mathiang Maker Thon said that introduction of the Airline in the country is part of developing the country’s transport system.
“Ugandans, Kenyans and South Sudanese are one family they work together day and night to make sure there is peace and development in their countries. The only thing is to urge the authorities of the airline to lower the prices of the ticket because people are suffering from dollar crisis,” Maker said.
Three days ago, Uganda Airlines had its first commercial flight from Entebbe to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) with eight passengers on board.
This is the first time the national carrier is flying a commercial flight in 20 years – this was the beginning of a long journey that Uganda hopes it takes a sweet turn.