By Rogers Wanambwa
KIU, Main Campus – Uganda Airlines is set to commence international flights to Dubai in September, according to the acting Chief Executive Officer Jennifer Bamuturaki.
She was speaking at an event coordinated by the Rotary E-club of Uganda Global on Sunday, which was attended by over 200 participants.
She disclosed that the national carrier initially planned to start flying to Dubai on July 16, 2021, but suspended the launch because of the halt of flights by UAE from Uganda to combat the spread of COVID-19.
Uganda is among the countries suspended by the gulf state after over 200 Ugandans who had presented negative COVID-19 test results in June tested positive once retested.
The flights were also delayed because the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is yet to approve the two A330-800Neo Airbuses of the airline and have them included on its Air Operators Certificate (AOC).
The approval process takes five phases including pre-application, application, and document evaluation, demonstration of the approved documents, and inclusion of the aircraft on the existing AOC. Bamuturaki says that they are currently on the third phase.
Bamuturaki also mentioned that the London flights would start in November this year. The UK had also red-listed Uganda last month over surging COVID-19 cases. Previously, the airline had anticipated to operate its first London flight in September.
The airline, according to Bamuturaki, is targeting migrant workers who journey to the Middle East and businesspeople among others on the Dubai route. An estimated 200 to 300 migrant workers leave the country daily for work in Saudi Arabia, Oman, and other gulf countries.