The Inaugural Flight of the Revived Uganda Airlines Raises Concerns

On 27 August 2019 Uganda has resurrected its national airline that went moribund 18 years ago, resuming regional commercial routes operations.

The inaugural flight of Uganda Airlines Company raises concerns to Ugandans as its first commercial flight had only eight passengers on board. This inaugural flight took off from Entebbe International Airport heading to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), in Kenya.

The airline, which departed at Entebbe Airport at 6:05am touched down at JKIA at exactly 7:00am, five minutes ahead of the scheduled landing. 

Worries again rose as no ordinary Ugandan was spotted on this first flight, as the passengers were the renown Uganda businessman Peter Ssenkungu, Workers’ Union leader Usher Wilson Owere, his wife Evelyn Were, Kwezi Tabaro, Joseph Kasigazi, and journalists Alon Mwesigwa, Olive Nakatudde and Gyegenda Ssemakula.

The flight captain was Charles Karabarinde, helped by First officer Denis Chotum. The purser was Asiimwe Neema and the cabin crew members were Ronnie Kasemiire and Johnson Mugume. 

Furthermore, the flight seemed to be more experimental as two pilots in training Drazu Tina and Rashid Cheboy were on the flight carrying out observations. The language on board was English only contrary to the common tradition translators or flight attendants speaking other languages on board commercial flights.

While Uganda Airlines struggles to wake from the 18 years sleep, competition is high in this business, as the number of countries in the region with their airlines up in the skies is also increasing; with Kenya working hard to maintain is airline reputation, Rwanda aiming high in the skies by opening several intercontinental flights; Tanzania opening new regional flights,  and Ethiopia remaining the African legend in the airline industry.  

This makes many Ugandan and independent observers conclude that the Uganda Airlines rival seems to be a dream business as it the company has no firm strategy to overpower it competitors.

One Ugandan partisan advised the company to scrap off snacks aboard flights that take less than 2 hours! Can this attract passengers who could opt to quit other airlines? I doubt.

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