Usually well informed sources within Uganda’s aviation fraternity have given the clearest indication yet that Air Uganda will widen their reach, true to their slogan we are the Wings that connect East Africa and offer flights, initially three times a week, between Entebbe and Bujumbura. From apparently the end of October will U7 operate a 09.00 a.m. departure every Monday and Wednesday from Entebbe to Bujumbura via Kigali, using their CRJ 200 aircraft, before returning nonstop to Entebbe. On Fridays the order will be reversed, when a 14.30 hrs departure will fly nonstop to Bujumbura, before later in the afternoon coming back via Kigali.
The same source also confirmed that come end November additional changes on the Air Uganda network will come into effect. First will be a truly daily flight between Entebbe and Dar es Salaam, where the present gap on Saturdays will be closed while from December onwards Juba will see a second flight come on line, initially on Fridays only, before upping frequencies on that route by February 2012 on two more traffic days, to be advised nearer to the time.
Considering the recent momentum in Eastern Africa’s aviation industry, where Kenya Airways, RwandAir and Precision Air have made all the positive headlines, it is now Air Uganda’s turn to have aviation observers and analysts sit up and take notice.
Air Uganda is operating two CRJ 200 aircraft leased from GECAS and one MD87 as back up aircraft, which is however regularly deployed on the route to Juba where load factors remain high, necessitating the use of the much larger MD 87.
Owned by the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development, under the Aga Khan Development Network, the airline commenced operations towards the end of 2007. Initially troubled by management turbulences the airline finally found its footing when former Kenya Airways Commercial Director Hugh Fraser took the helm, replacing the hapless Italian management seconded to U7 by Meridiana at the time of startup, which was thought to have been largely responsible for the initial losses the airline incurred before the turnaround was accomplished by reverting to the initially outlined strategy of using smaller and more economical jets.
Additional news on Air Uganda will be released right here in coming days, so keep watching this space for the most current aviation news from Eastern Africa and the Indian Ocean region.