East African startup Uganda Airlines has launched operations with an initial scheduled service between Entebbe and Nairobi (Kenya), marking the start of a growth plan that foresees 20 destinations by the end of 2021.
State-run Uganda Airlines, which secured its air operator’s certificate (AOC) in July, performed its first flight to Nairobi Aug. 27, followed by an inaugural flight to Juba (South Sudan) Aug. 28.
“The airline will first fly to seven destinations, starting with Nairobi, Juba, Mogadishu (Somalia) and Dar es Salaam (Tanzania),” Uganda Airlines CEO Ephraim Bagenda said.
Other potential first-phase destinations mentioned by Uganda Airlines include Bujumbura (Burundi), Kilimanjaro (Tanzania) and Mombasa (Kenya).
“With the upcoming arrival and addition of new planes to our fleet, we will expand our route map and fly to Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Zanzibar, Asmara (Eritrea), Hargeisa (Somalia), Lusaka (Zambia), Harare (Zimbabwe), Johannesburg (South Africa), Djibouti and Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), and plan to make international flights connecting Uganda to Europe, the Middle East, West Africa and Asia. By the end of 2021, Uganda Airlines will serve 20 destinations,” the carrier said on its website.
The new African flag carrier had planned to start services in the spring, but there were delays in completing the formalities needed to launch.
Uganda Airlines’ namesake predecessor collapsed in 2001, while privately owned Air Uganda closed its doors in 2014.