Uganda Airlines return to Nigeria after 21 years

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The East African nation of Uganda has strengthened its air transport partnership with Nigeria by launching a new aircraft route linking Entebbe International Airport to Lagos.

This air link, which will initially operate three times each week, aims to improve connectivity and ease travel between the two nations.

The flight from Entebbe to Lagos was piloted by a number of Nigerians.

The Nigerian government approved Abuja and Kano as entry points for Uganda Airlines under the bilateral air services agreement between the two countries in the spirit of the Single Africa Air Transport Market in order to increase the accessibility and openness of the Nigeria-Uganda route for travellers to and from East and West Africa and beyond. The national airline of Uganda, Uganda Airlines, will begin offering aircraft services to Lagos in an effort to bridge the gap between the travel requirements of passengers from West Africa and East Africa while also providing linkages between the two areas of the continent and the rest of the world.

The flights will operate on Mondays, Thursdays, and Sundays, with a five-hour or less flight time. A round-trip ticket in Business class will cost $1800 and in Economy $510 respectively.

Ambassador Nelson Ocherger, Uganda’s High Commissioner to Nigeria, expressed happiness over Uganda Airlines’ first flight to Lagos and claimed that the Nigerian government’s approval will provide both countries with a plethora of commercial opportunities.

According to him, “The importance of air transport underscores the promotion of trade and investment and it gives Africa the opportunity to leverage on all AU agenda. We thank the Nigerian government for the necessary approval needed to do this operation.”

Speaking through the Director of Airport Protocol of the Ministry, Ambassador Oludare Folowosele, Minister of Foreign Affairs Ambassador Yusuf Tuggar remarked, “It is ridiculous to go to Europe before connecting two African neighbouring countries. What we are doing today would lead to wealth creation, shortening of travel time from one country to another rather than depend on Europe all the time for flight connections.”

On his part, Mr Festus Keyamo (SAN), Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, who was represented by Hassan Ejibunu, Director of Air Transport Management in the Ministry, stated that aviation continues to be the best way for Africa to connect its people and foster intra-African trade in line with Africa’s 2063 Agenda, which is supported by the continent’s leaders.

He said, “Aviation has a huge market that should be explored by indigenous African Airlines, as no other Nations can develop the aviation sector for us, except us, Africans. We need to do this in the interest of our over 1.37 billion people, which is 17.4 per cent of the world’s population. I wish to, therefore, challenge Nigeria’s local airlines to seize the opportunity to start operating regional and continental flights to make SAATM and YD achieve their aims, as envisioned by African leaders.”

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