Uganda Airlines restarting direct flights to Rwanda gives Simple Flying the opportunity to review Uganda Airlines’ progress.

Africa’s Uganda Airlines is restarting direct flights to Kigali, the capital of Rwanda. The two countries are excited at the possibility of boosting connectivity and trade, especially as Uganda Airlines was reborn in 2023.

Restarting flights a vehicle of diplomacy

According to the Ugandan news website NewVision, the flights are intended to be a means of patching up relations between the neighboring countries of Rwanda and Uganda. After difficult times starting in 2018 until 2022, when the border was reopened – Uganda’s Minister of Foreign Affairs hailed the progress towards healing.

“We are brothers and sisters. Indeed, there have been some difficulties but with the consensus reached by our leaders, progress has been made in normalizing relations. I am confident that through joint efforts, our excellent relations will continue to flourish in the years ahead.”

Rwanda’s Foreign Affairs Minister Vincent Biruta also voiced similar sentiments. It’s worth noting that RwandAir already offers flights between the two nations.

The East Africa Tourism Portal also tweeted out some joy at the news:

But troubles are present for Uganda Airlines

Earlier this week, according to the Ugandan independent daily newspaper the Daily Monitor, the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority (PPDA) Tribunal canceled a fuel and in-flight services supply contract. The PPDA found that Uganda Airlines needed to tender the contract fairly. Being the previous contract has expired, Uganda Airlines intends to promptly reopen the contract for bids.

This is part of the ongoing corruption investigation into operations at Entebbe. Bribery, extortion, and document tampering – including with passports are all being exposed. Since 2020, no less than 26 Entebbe Airport workers have been relieved of duties as a result.

Nonetheless, Uganda Airlines has ambitions

Nonetheless, Uganda Airlines has ambitious plans for its future. For instance, Airbus and Boeing are both pitching their fleets ahead of a future aircraft order. Uganda Airlines already ordered two Airbus A330-800 aircraft. There is also the distinct possibility that Embraer’s E190-E2 and E195-E2 aircraft may also be ordered as they offer double the capacity of Uganda Airlines’ current CRJ900s and efficient performance. Nonetheless, for an airline with only six planes – four CRJ900 and two Airbus A330neo jets – this is a significant event.

Below is a photo from Uganda Airlines’ official Twitter of one of its A330neos:

Uganda Airlines is also making plans to connect directly to London, United Kingdom. However, for the connection to happen, Entebbe Airport must meet international standards of facility and operations.

Overall, Uganda Airlines is increasingly making intra-Africa connections. One of them is to Johannesburg, South Africa to meet growing demand. The flights are now five times a week. Another connection is to Nigeria, starting last November as the first flight to West Africa.

What are your thoughts on the Uganda Airlines situation? Please share with civility in our comments section.

Sources: NewVision, The Daily Monitor


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