Local carrier Air Uganda inaugurated flights between Entebbe and Mogadishu in Somalia on July 8, 2013. The three times weekly service will offer government officials, army personnel and a growing number of business people from Uganda enhanced connectivity with Somalia and will be flown by a recently acquired Bombardier CRJ200ER, leased from GECAS.
The aircraft is their third of the type and replaces a larger McDonnell Douglas MD-87, which has been redeployed with another airline within the Celestair business. The decision to launch scheduled flights to Somalia is a further indication of the improving security situation in the country.
Uganda, alongside Burundi, was the first country to commit a major contingent of troops some years ago to the African Union led peace keeping mission in the country. Now that deployment has more or less accomplished its mission, Air Uganda is confident the time is right to introduce commercial flights, available to the general public, compared to previous military charters between the two countries.
Air Uganda has plans to further increase its fleet capacity and widen its network and additional regional jets could join the network in the medium-term. “We are very excited about the latest fleet addition which will play a part in part in the tremendous growth Air Uganda will experience this year,” said Comwell Muleya, Chief Executive Officer, Air Uganda.
The inauguration of the Mogadishu route follows just over a month after Air Uganda introduced a link from Entebbe to Kilimanjaro International Airport, near Arusha in Tanzania. The four times weekly service was introduced from May 29, 2013 and is also flown using CRJ200 equipment.
Here is what Cornwell Muleya, Chief Executive Officer, Air Uganda had to say about the new route...