Uganda Airlines Bujumbura flights
Uganda Airlines begins direct flights to Bujumbura. File Photo

Uganda Airlines has added another route to its schedule after they officially launched its first commercial flight to Bujumbura on 30th September.

The launch means that it’s the fifth route in the region. Earlier last month the Uganda Airlines already launched flights to Nairobi, Juba, Mogadishu and Dar es Salaam.

The UR flight 302* took-off from Entebbe International Airport at 4:00 pm and touched down at the recently renamed, Melchior Ndadaye International Airport, formerly known as Bujumbura International Airport by 5:15 pm, Ugandan time.

The passengers were welcomed in Bujumbura by the Ugandan Ambassador to Burundi, Maj Gen Matayo Kyaligonza, Burundi government officials, Burundi aviation officials.

The Airline currently running a 2 month-long promotional campaign with subsidized fares will be flying to Bujumbura, 3 times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Meanwhile to fly from Entebbe to Bujumbura will cost only $295 and only $247 from Bujumbura to Entebbe.

“It has been an exciting experience thus far and we look forward to serving the region with our timely service,” the Uganda Airlines CEO, Cornwell Muleya noted before adding that it’s a good gesture to see the country develop like their other neighbours.

“We are glad to be joining our partners like Ethiopian Airways, Kenyan Airways, Rwanda Air and Tanzanian Airways in providing uninterrupted cargo and passenger services,” Muleya added.

In addition to the inaugural flight to Bujumbura, the airlines according to the commercial director Jenifer Bamuturak will also launch flights to other destinations as time goes on to add to the initial routes of Nairobi, Mogadishu, Dar es Salaam and Juba.

Ms Bamuturaki also said that since the number of passengers on the initial routes has been growing, the airline is planning to increase the frequency on some.

The planned increase will see three daily flights to Nairobi from two, and two to Juba from one, but this depends on the acquisition of more aeroplanes.

Currently, the airline flies only two Bombardier CRJ 900 aircraft with a capacity of 76 passengers and is expecting to receive two more in early October.

Two more Bombardier CRJ900s will join the fleet and as such this will ensure the expansion of its route network to cover several other destinations in Southern and Central Africa, including DRC, Zanzibar, Asmara, Hargeisa, Lusaka, Harare, Johannesburg, Djibouti and Addis Ababa.

The Juba and Mogadishu routes are doing better than the Nairobi route in terms of passenger numbers because the carrier still lacks certain certification required for Nairobi, which means it is unable to operate a sales office.

The new craft will see the airline fly to Lusaka, Kigali, Zanzibar and Johannesburg by December.

Two more aircraft from the French manufacturer Airbus is expected late next year and will be used for long haul flights.

By John Dalton Kigozi