- It has been 20 years since the airline’s last flight, which was to the South Africa, before it was originally liquidated in 2001.
- The South African High Commissioner to Uganda, Her Excellency Ms. Lulu Xingwana, flagged the maiden flight in Entebbe.
- The aircraft, a Mitsubishi CRJ 900, was welcomed with the traditional water salute.
Speaking at the launch, Xingwana urged Ugandans to explore more investment opportunities in South Africa other than tourism and that South Africans reciprocate now that a direct flight has been established that everyone has been waiting for, for quite some time, she said.
On board the flight were Head of Public Service and Secretary to The Cabinet, Dr. John Mitala; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transport, Waiswa Bageya; The High Commissioner of Uganda to South Africa, Her Excellency Barbara Nekesa; stakeholders in the travel and tourism industry; and the media.
Nekesa echoed the words of her counterpart saying that there are a number of Ugandans who have been doing a lot of business and working in Entebbe and South Africa, and this is a sigh of relief which will go a long way to help them reach each other’s capitals in record time.
Several South African companies have invested in Uganda in the last 20 years including MTN Mobile Telecom Network, Game Stores, Shoprite Supermarket, and Eskom Power.
“We should have done 18 routes by now, but because of the COVID lockdown, we’ve been held back, so launching this route is in tandem with our business plan,” said Jennifer Banaturaki, Acting CEO, Uganda Airlines. She added that the airline is projecting June 30, 2021, for the Airbus Neo 300-800 series to be included on the Air Operators Certificate which shall then start flights to Dubai.