After two decades, Uganda Airlines is back. The East African airline was re-launched with an inaugural flight to Nairobi, Kenya earlier this week. According to the Ugandan Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda, other destinations to be taken on by the re-launched airline are Juba, Mogadishu and Dar es Saalam, Mombasa, Kilimanjaro and Bujumbura.
The airline was founded in 1976 by former Ugandan dictator Idi Amin. Due to mismanagement and corruption that plagued the airline and a failed attempt to privatize it as a result, it was liquidated in 2001. The airline has now been re-launched in a bid to revive the nation’s aviation industry.
According to Monica Azuba, Uganda’s Transport Minister, “Uganda Airlines is coming to compete in the market alongside other airlines.” In preparation for this course of action, the airline has acquired two Bombardier CRJ 900 jets, and the addition of two Airbus A330-800 in 2020 will prepare it for long-haul flights in the future. The launching of Uganda Airlines with direct flights from Uganda to China will help to boost the number of tourists that visit Uganda, in order to meet the four million tourist goal set by the Ugandan government.
Neighboring Tanzania and Rwanda have also invested heavily in their respective aviation industries by purchasing new aircraft. To ease funding, Rwandair is seeking further loans to expand routes and make profits.