NAIROBI — Uganda Airlines has on Tuesday August 27 afternoon touched ground at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi as the operator commences the maiden flights on the Kenyan route, a move poised to raise competition on the Nairobi-Entebbe route —with the local private sector welcoming the development.
The move comes as the biggest challenge for Kenya Airways and its subsidiary Jambojet, which ply the route.
The route is also operated by Rwandair.
Joining of new operator in the market according to Industry commentator has come as a reprieve to passengers flying the route as the fight for passengers is expected to result to lower charges.
Minister for Works and Transport, Hon. Monica Azuba has assured the airline’s officials that the government through her ministry will give all the necessary support required to see the successful operation of the national carrier.
She made the statement during the ceremony to launch the airline’s commercial flights.
Uganda Airlines acquired two aircraft in April this year as it started plans of reviving its national carrier to ply regional routes before expanding to Europe and other destinations.
Founded by former President Idi Amin in 1976, Uganda Airlines was liquidated in the 1990s by President Yoweri Museveni under a broader programme to privatise troubled state firms and open up the economy.
But last year Uganda started pursuing plans to relaunch the airline to share in East Africa’s growing aviation business.
Mr Museveni is on record complaining about fares being charged by Kenya Airways on the Entebbe route due to limited competition and the absence the Ugandan national carrier.
This signals the Ugandan carrier will be keen to trigger a price war on the route.
Budget carrier Jambojet is expanding to regional routes as it seeks to increase its revenue and establish presence in different African countries.