ENTEBBE – There was a buzz of activity at Entebbe international Airport on Thursday with a number of intending travelers flocking the airport as airlines resumed flights following the reopening of the airport by government after a six month closure due to the Covid 19 pandemic.
At the airport, a flurry of activities were taking place, at the toll gate there was traffic jam caused by intending travelers who have been absent, people are required to go through an automated sanititizing machine before proceeding inside, wearing masks is compulsory for all.
There is a waiting tent set up at the departures section where intending travelers will sit while observing social distancing as they await in line for clearance.
Only intending travelers were allowed to access the departure area with people escorting them being stopped at a particular point by security.
Hon Peter Lokeris the minister of state for works while reopening the airport for commercial flights on Thursday said the resumption of flights by the national carrier was a sign of it’s firm foundation when it was revived as some international airlines filing bankruptcy due to dormancy caused by the worldwide lockdown.
Lokeris added that the recent ranking of Uganda among the top 10 countries worldwide and as the best country in Africa in managing Covid 19 will give confidence to intending visitors to travel to the country with assurance of the health measures in place.
The Spokesperson Uganda Airlines Mr Deo Nyanzi said although the airline has lost income during the lockdown, it has put in place various mechanisms to help it recover starting with Thursday’s flights to Nairobi and Mogadishu.
The spokesperson Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) Mr Vianney Luggya revealed that 12 flights were expected by the end of the day with Turkish airlines flying in the wee hours of Thursday, followed by a Uganda airlines flight to Mogadishu, Qatar, Fly Dubai, Kenya Airways, Rwandair, Emirates among others.
Mr Luggya said a total of 37 flights are expected in and out of the country upto Sunday 04th October as the airport assumes normalcy in its operations.
Mr Luggya said the authority has emphasized safety procedures aboard aircrafts and airlines on landing to disinfect them after passengers disembark before others can board.
“We erected automated sanitisers within the terminal building for passengers and airport users, the ground floor and passenger waiting seats are marked for social distancing of 1.5 metres, we are also frequently disinfecting touched surfaces and erected glass shields at immigration and check in counters to reduce on direct interface between passengers and the staff working there and a negative PCR test certificate obtained from the country of origin for incoming passengers” he said.