Uganda Airlines eyes November launch for Kinshasa, doubles flights to NairobiUganda Airlines will operate a mix of A330neo’s for the long haul network and shorter range Bombardier CRJ’s for the regional feeder network
Uganda’s year-old flag carrier Uganda Airlines is adding frequencies and mulling new destinations over the coming weeks, as air travel from Entebbe gradually opens up.
The airline which has been operating a single flight daily to Nairobi has rebounded to its original double daily frequency as part of efforts to expand travel options between the busiest city pair out of Uganda. Nairobi remains the top destination out of Entebbe with a combined total of 42 flights scheduled for this week.
The service to Bujumbura will also be revived this month bringing to five the active services since Entebbe reopened on October 1.
Officials say plans to launch a service to Kinshasa are also at an advanced stage with commencement expected towards the end of November. In is understood that the three times weekly service, will initially be operated using a Bombardier – now Mitsubishi CRJ-900 before passing the baton to the Airbus A330-800 neo after transcontinental services commence.
Uganda Airlines is set to receive the first of a pair of A330-800’s it has on order early December, setting the stage for a rapid ramp up of the regional feeder network, to support intercontinental operations.
The initial service to Kinshasa will be targeting both traffic terminating in Uganda and onward traffic to the regional destinations the airline is so far serving.
Soon to be added also are Johannesburg and Lusaka on which Uganda Airlines will be the sole operator offering a direct service from Entebbe.
Entebbe handled 42,633 arriving and departing passengers during October, reflecting the impact of flight restrictions which limited each airline to a single daily frequency to each destination. Traffic was 26pc of the average 165,000 monthly passengers that the airport handled during 2019.
While the Tanzania and Kenyan markets have experienced a slow start for Uganda airlines, the carrier is reporting a 100pc cabin factor on the services to Juba and Mogadishu.
The airline that returned to the regional skies in August 2019, had carried 75,000 passengers before the government suspended all flights mid-March, as part of efforts to nip the Covid-19 pandemic in the bud