Uganda Airlines Positions Itself To Promote Tourism Sector
Uganda’s national carrier the Uganda Airlines is positioning itself as the carrier for tourists regionally and globally in the long term.
In an interview on how the national carrier intends to promote Uganda’s tourism potential, Shakila Rahim Lamar, the Corporate Affairs & Public Relations Manager at Uganda Airlines, said that the Airline is an enabler in providing connectivity through its regional footprint and network expansion.
“The Airline is marketing Uganda as a tourist destination through strategic partnerships with Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) and Travel Agents Associations,” Lamar said, adding: “The Airline is also using its in-flight entertainment services to market Uganda’s Tourism sites.”
She added that the national carrier is also looking at conventions/conferences and expos as global economies fully open up following COVID-19 induced lockdowns.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, tourism in Uganda was on a strong and positive trajectory, leading in Foreign Exchange earnings and accounting for 7.7% of GDP and about 6.3% of all formal employment in the country.
Having started commercial operations in August 2019, Uganda Airlines operates a fleet of four (4) CRJ900 and two (2) Airbus A330-800neo.
The national carrier has expanded its network to 11 destinations since inception. However, according to the airline’s business plan, in the 2nd year of operation, the national carrier had planned to have 18 and four (4) regional and international routes respectively, but this couldn’t be possible due to COVID-19 effects.
Some of the Uganda Airlines operational routes include Nairobi, Mombasa, Dubai, Kinshasa, Johannesburg, Juba, Dar es Salaam Mogadishu and Bujumbura.
Addressing the press recently, Jennifer Bamuturaki, the Ag. Chief Executive Officer at Uganda Airlines said the national carrier carried 154,245 passengers in 2021 compared to 93,780 in 2019 and 2020 combined.
It should be noted that on September 25, 2021, Uganda Airlines entered into partnership with the Federation of Motorsport Clubs of Uganda (FMU) where the national carrier will be the official airline of FMU members.
The Airline said the partnership will mutually benefit Uganda Airlines and FMU as they “jointly market destination Uganda.”
In October 2021, Uganda Airlines commenced direct flights to Dubai using the Airbus A330 neo state of the art Aircraft and is keen to launch more regional and international flights with the easing of travel restrictions around the world.
According to Bamuturaki, in 2022, Uganda Airlines plans “to include direct flights to cities in Europe, India and the Far East.”
“We are also looking at points in DRC (Goma, Kisangani), West Africa (Lagos) and the Middle East (Saudi Arabia),” Bamuturaki said recently.