Uganda Airlines set to fly again
President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, in his first address to the recently sworn-in Cabinet on Thursday, called the lack of a national airline “a big shame,” criticizing the high fares between Entebbe and the regional African capitals. After the departure of Uganda Airlines, several private airlines took to the skies. But this was short-lived, with the last flyer being Air Uganda, whose departure saw the 45-minute flight from Entebbe to Nairobi rise to $1,000.
President Museveni has now directed the Ministry of Works and Transport to conclude discussions with investors to help Uganda start a national airline as a matter of urgency.
Excerpt from President Museveni’s speech to the new Cabinet:
“In these five years, Uganda will encourage the setting up of a National Airline. Ugandan travelers are suffering because of, apparently, not having a National Airline. A ticket to Nairobi costs between US$ 1,100-1,200 (business class) and US$ 500-700 (economy class) depending on the time of booking, while a ticket to London costs between US$ 2,700-3,000 (business class) and US$1,000-1,300 (economy class). This is a big shame. I did not care much about a National Airline. I thought that our brothers in Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, etc., having airlines would serve all of us. That, however, is apparently not the case. Hence, the Ministry of Works and Transport is directed to conclude discussions with the investors that can help us to start a National Airline. A National Airline would help us to save US$420 million per year Ugandans spend on travel. The National Airline will also create jobs and career opportunities for our children who train as pilots at Soroti Flying School. These children apparently suffer when they try to get jobs. Apart from joining the Uganda Air Force, opportunities for them are very limited. The airlines of our brothers and sisters that benefit from [the] Ugandan market should have remembered to treat our children as their own, because our purchasing power is supporting those airlines.”
Meeting eyes with a silverback mountain gorilla across a misty jungle, after an arduous hike through Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, leaves everlasting impressions of arguably the best wildlife safari in the world.
But there's much more to Uganda. Rich in nature, it's an outdoor sanctuary of crater lakes, white-sand beaches on lake islands, thundering waterfalls and national parks. Visitors can cross the equator by boat slicing through Africa's largest lake. Or climb through glaciers in the Mountains of the Moon.
“You'll find a lush country with fewer tourists in Uganda," says Thornton of Intrepid Travel.
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