Author Archives: Tony Ofungi - eTN Uganda

Uganda Airlines New Flight to Dubai Perfectly Timed for Expo Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Uganda Airlines New Flight to Dubai Perfectly Timed for Expo 1

This flight marked the first international route for the national carrier since the airline was revamped in 2018.The inaugural flight to Dubai had been delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.Uganda President, HE Yoweri T. Kaguta Museveni, was among the heads of state present to launch the Uganda pavilion at Expo Dubai 2020.

The 289 capacity Airbus Neo A 300-800 series took to the skies at approximately 12:18 pm with 76 passengers on board including the Minister of Tourism Wildlife and Antiquities, Honorable Tom Butime, marking the first international route for the national carrier since the airline was revamped in 2018. The flight was flagged off by the Minister of State for Works and Transport, Honorable Fred Byamukama, who acknowledged that the inaugural flight to Dubai had been delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
On touchdown at Dubai International Airport, Dubai Airports Deputy CEO, Jamal Al Hai, welcomed the Uganda delegation including Honorable Tom Butime; Uganda Airlines Acting CEO, Jennifer Bamuturaki; Abdalla Hassan Al Shamsi, Ambassador of the UAE in Uganda; and Zaake Wanume Kibedi, Ambassador of Uganda to UAE.

Uganda’s President, HE Yoweri T. Kaguta Museveni, was among the heads of state present to launch the Uganda pavilion. While officiating at the opening ceremony of the Uganda National Day during his message to the world, was that Uganda is ripe for investment, ready for profit-driven business, and the time is right now. Meeting Ugandans living in the UAE, the President pledged that the Government of Uganda will make a considerable financial investment in them through their SACCO (Savings and Credit Cooperative Organization) to assist them in accessing loans or Ugandans in distress. There are 40,000 Ugandans living in the UAE engaged in trade in agro-based products including avocado, pineapples, coffee, cocoa, dairy products, tea, and precious metals increasing from US$300 million in 2009 to US$1.85 billion in 2020. There are also several Ugandans in employment in hospitality, security, skilled, and house help labor.
Reaffirming the President’s message, the Chief Executive Officer of the Uganda Investment Authority, Bob Mukiza, said: “Today we surpassed our expectations. We came to Dubai Expo 2020 to show that Uganda is ready for business, to come to Uganda as an investor, and we hand hold you through that process. We have signed over 600 million worth of deals, and we intend to sign over 4 billion worth of deals. What this means for Uganda is that it is not jobs per se that provides the minimum wage, but we have to provide skills for the industrialists who are coming to hit the ground running.”
On the tourism fold, Lilly Ajarova was ramping up business at the Uganda pavilion met with Mr. Fahim Jalali, the Chief Business Officer of Jet Class, a Dubai based aviation company, and the Vice President of Emirates Holidays, the tour operator arm of Emirates Airlines, among other appointments. Also representing the tourism and hospitality sector were Susan Muhwezi, Chair of the Uganda Hotel Owners Association (UHOA); Lydia Nandudu from Nkuringo Safaris; and from Uganda Tourism Board, Sandra Natukunda PRO, Daniel Irunga, and Herman Olimi who were managing the tourism stand.
Uganda Export Promotion Boards CEO, Elly Twineyo Kamugisha, was on hand to showcase an interactive touchscreen display of birds, apes, and primates of Uganda at the Uganda pavilion.
On the sidelines of Expo Dubai 2020 was the Tourism, Trade and Investment Forum held on October 5 that featured business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-government (B2G) networking and a panel of eminent women including among others Uganda’s Veterinary Dr. Gladys Kalema Zikusooka, Director CTPH (Conservation Through Public Health), and Gorilla Coffee Brand lending their voices to the climate change session on October 4 themed “Mother Nature’s First Defenders: Women Leading the Fight to Save our Planet.”
Representing Uganda Airlines at the expo, Acting CEO Jennifer Bamuturaki said, “…the flight is a step in the right direction for trade between the two countries.” She added that the Crane (as the aircraft is named) that flies to Dubai today is a three class with Business, Premium economy, and Economy class.
The airline will start with 3 weekly flights to Dubai, with days and times carefully selected to match travelers’ convenience and connectivity. This route presents cheaper Dubai flights for Ugandans and also puts Uganda Airlines in direct competition with other airlines including FlyDubai, Emirates, and Ethiopian Airways. Dubai routing is the latest addition to Nairobi, Mombasa, Kilimanjaro, Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar, Mogadishu, Bujumbura, and Juba out of Entebbe.
UAE is also a popular destination for Ugandan middle-class couples, incentive groups, the business community, and families who wish to enjoy the splendor of man-made attractions, like Ferrari World, shopping, the Burj Khalifa cruises, Atlantis, Palm islands, and Formula One with less visa hassle compared to destinations offering similar attractions within only 4 hours by direct flight.
#rebuildingtravel

Uganda to Dubai: once they get off COVID red list Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Uganda to Dubai: once they get off COVID red list 2

This development brings to an end the protracted 5-phased certification process that saw the carrier’s pair of A330s grounded in Entebbe.The airline now can switch between the CRJ-900 and the higher capacity A330 on services, depending on passenger and cargo demand.A330s will be used on services to London, Dubai, Mumbai, and Guangzhou once Uganda gets off the COVID-19 red list.

The Acting Director General of UCAA, Fred Bamwesigye, applauded the team upon the successful completion of the process of adding the Airbus to the Mitsubishi CRJ 900 on the AOC during the handover ceremony held in Entebbe.

The last phase of the 5-stage certification process followed a flight from Entebbe, Uganda, to Johannesburg, South Africa, when senior training captain Francis Barros and senior training captain Pete Thomase landed the Airbus #A330-800 series Neo on August 12, 2021, at OR Tambo International Airport.
The development brings to an end the protracted 5-phased certification process that saw the carrier’s pair of A330s grounded in Entebbe, pending the AOC since the airline completed the national carrier’s order of the second of 2 A330s in February from manufacturer Airbus pending the AOC.
It now gives the airline the flexibility to switch between the CRJ-900 and the higher capacity A330 on services, depending on passenger and cargo demand.
According to Uganda Airlines Acting CEO, Jennifer Bamuturaki, the A330s will be used on services to London, Dubai, Mumbai, and Guangzhou once Uganda gets off the COVID-19 red list in destination countries. The continuing restrictions on travel from Uganda have seen the planned service to Dubai slip by a month to October, while that to London has now been moved to early 2022.
London, Mumbai, and Guangzhou are among the top unserved point-to-point routes from Entebbe according to statistics from 2019. The Entebbe-London route had 84,000 round-trip passengers during the year, followed by Mumbai at 42,000 and Guangzhou at 29,000. That would represent a daily load of 230 passengers between Entebbe and London – 115 to Mumbai and 79 to Guangzhou.
In Uganda, from January 3, 2020, to today, August 24, 2021, there have been 118,673 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 2,960 deaths, reported to the World Health Organization (WHO). As of August 23, 2021, a total of 1,163,451 vaccine doses have been administered.
#rebuildingtravel

Uganda issues online visa application directive Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Uganda issues online visa application directive 3

Uganda’s Ministry of Internal Affairs has directed that all visa applications must be made and paid for online.The directive was issued and signed off by Major General Apollo Kasita-Gowa the Director of Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control.Only travelers with approved visas having applied online will be granted entry into the country.

Following the forty-two day lockdown directive  issued by His Excellency President Yoweri K Museveni in his latest address to the nation on the COVID-19 spike late last month, Uganda’s Ministry of Internal Affairs has since directed that all visa applications must be made and paid for online and not on arrival.
The directive was issued and signed off by Major General Apollo Kasita-Gowa the Director of Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control (DCIC) on 23rd June,2021.

It reads in part “…in implementing  their mandate of controlling, regulating and facilitating movements in and out of the  within the 42-day lockdown has directed that  visa applications are made online  at https://visas.immigration.go.ug/ as opposed to visa on arrival.”
The Directorate has further directed that:
Only travelers with approved visas having applied online will be granted entry into the countryAirline operators are to carry only passengers with pre-approved visas for visa prone countries. Failure to comply, the necessary fine will applyAll inland transit passengers will be cleared to proceedAll travelers coming in and going out of the country are required to have travel documents and other evidence to support their travelAll other online applications and renewals for immigration facilities that are Entry, Work Permits, Special Passes, Dependant Passes and Certificate of Residence can still be applied for online
Online applicants will receive an approved notification which they must print and travel with as travel authorization.

Further notice was seen by ETN from by Aeronautical Information Service  of the Civil Aviation Authority  confirming that in addition to airlines permitted to  carry only travelers with approved and authorized visas  returning residents with valid resident facility (entry/work permits , passes or certificate of residence shall bepermitted. The notice excludes nationals of countries that are exempt listed on the immigration website. The directive is effective from July 3 to July 31,2021.
However the online visa application has not been without its shortcomings. Some applicants had not received confirmation and some tour operators complained that their frantic clients were already in transit by the time of the directive.
This prompted the Association of Uganda Tour Operators (AUTO) Board led by Civy Tumusiime  to engage with the DCIC who resolved the matter  by  availing a dedicated line to immigration  officer  to clear stranded tourists.

Uganda issues online visa application directive Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Uganda issues online visa application directive 4

Uganda’s Ministry of Internal Affairs has directed that all visa applications must be made and paid for online.The directive was issued and signed off by Major General Apollo Kasita-Gowa the Director of Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control.Only travelers with approved visas having applied online will be granted entry into the country.

Following the forty-two day lockdown directive  issued by His Excellency President Yoweri K Museveni in his latest address to the nation on the COVID-19 spike late last month, Uganda’s Ministry of Internal Affairs has since directed that all visa applications must be made and paid for online and not on arrival.
The directive was issued and signed off by Major General Apollo Kasita-Gowa the Director of Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control (DCIC) on 23rd June,2021.

It reads in part “…in implementing  their mandate of controlling, regulating and facilitating movements in and out of the  within the 42-day lockdown has directed that  visa applications are made online  at https://visas.immigration.go.ug/ as opposed to visa on arrival.”
The Directorate has further directed that:
Only travelers with approved visas having applied online will be granted entry into the countryAirline operators are to carry only passengers with pre-approved visas for visa prone countries. Failure to comply, the necessary fine will applyAll inland transit passengers will be cleared to proceedAll travelers coming in and going out of the country are required to have travel documents and other evidence to support their travelAll other online applications and renewals for immigration facilities that are Entry, Work Permits, Special Passes, Dependant Passes and Certificate of Residence can still be applied for online
Online applicants will receive an approved notification which they must print and travel with as travel authorization.

Further notice was seen by ETN from by Aeronautical Information Service  of the Civil Aviation Authority  confirming that in addition to airlines permitted to  carry only travelers with approved and authorized visas  returning residents with valid resident facility (entry/work permits , passes or certificate of residence shall bepermitted. The notice excludes nationals of countries that are exempt listed on the immigration website. The directive is effective from July 3 to July 31,2021.
However the online visa application has not been without its shortcomings. Some applicants had not received confirmation and some tour operators complained that their frantic clients were already in transit by the time of the directive.
This prompted the Association of Uganda Tour Operators (AUTO) Board led by Civy Tumusiime  to engage with the DCIC who resolved the matter  by  availing a dedicated line to immigration  officer  to clear stranded tourists.

20-year break has ended! Uganda Airlines flying again to Johannesburg Aviation Feature, Aviation News

20-year break has ended! Uganda Airlines flying again to Johannesburg 5

It has been 20 years since the airline’s last flight, which was to the South Africa, before it was originally liquidated in 2001.The South African High Commissioner to Uganda, Her Excellency Ms. Lulu Xingwana, flagged the maiden flight in Entebbe.The aircraft, a Mitsubishi CRJ 900, was welcomed with the traditional water salute.

Speaking at the launch, Xingwana urged Ugandans to explore more investment opportunities in South Africa other than tourism and that South Africans reciprocate now that a direct flight has been established that everyone has been waiting for, for quite some time, she said.
On board the flight were Head of Public Service and Secretary to The Cabinet, Dr. John Mitala; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transport, Waiswa Bageya; The High Commissioner of Uganda to South Africa, Her Excellency Barbara Nekesa; stakeholders in the travel and tourism industry; and the media.

Nekesa echoed the words of her counterpart saying that there are a number of Ugandans who have been doing a lot of business and working in Entebbe and South Africa, and this is a sigh of relief which will go a long way to help them reach each other’s capitals in record time.
Several South African companies have invested in Uganda in the last 20 years including MTN Mobile Telecom Network, Game Stores, Shoprite Supermarket, and Eskom Power.
“We should have done 18 routes by now, but because of the COVID lockdown, we’ve been held back, so launching this route is in tandem with our business plan,” said Jennifer Banaturaki, Acting CEO, Uganda Airlines. She added that the airline is projecting June 30, 2021, for the Airbus Neo 300-800 series to be included on the Air Operators Certificate which shall then start flights to Dubai.

Uganda suspends travel to and from India Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Uganda suspends travel to and from India 6

Following the surge of COVID-19 cases taking place in India, Uganda has stopped all travel to and from the country.Fly Emirates and Kenya Airways which fly out of Entebbe International Airport in Uganda announced similar measures.Regardless of the route, all travelers who may have been in India or traveled through India in the last 14 days shall not be allowed into Uganda.

This was announced over the weekend by the Honorable Minister of Health (MOH), Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng, following the first recorded case of the India strain of the coronavirus.  
Earlier in the week, Fly Emirates and Kenya Airways which fly out of Entebbe International Airport, had announced similar measures following related concerns last week.

“Further to the existing COVID-19 control measures, all travelers and passengers originating from India shall not be allowed into Uganda starting at midnight of May 1, 2021,” she said.
This is regardless of the route of travel. In addition, all travelers who may have been in India or traveled through India in the last 14 days regardless of route taken shall not be allowed into Uganda.

Uganda Civil Aviation Authority updates COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedures Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Uganda Civil Aviation Authority updates COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedures 8

Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) has reviewed COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) following the increase in passenger traffic accessing the Entebbe International Airport since its October 1 reopening after the lockdown from late March 2020.

The notice issued by Management contains the following directives:
Effective December 2020, departing and arriving passengers will only be dropped and picked from the airport by at most two people including the driver of the vehicle in order to avoid unnecessary crowding at the airport.
Continue reading Uganda Civil Aviation Authority updates COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedures at eTurboNews | Trends | Travel News Online.

First Uganda Airlines Airbus 330-800 touches down in Entebbe Aviation Feature, Aviation News

First Uganda Airlines Airbus 330-800 touches down in Entebbe 9

Uganda Airlines took delivery of the first of 2 brand-new Airbus A330-800 neo. The aircraft captained by Capt. Michael Etyang touched down at Entebbbe International Airport on December 22, 2020, at 10:30 am to a water salute.
Receiving the aircraft was Uganda’s President HE Gen. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni who cautioned the airline against corruption.
Continue reading First Uganda Airlines Airbus 330-800 touches down in Entebbe at eTurboNews | Trends | Travel News Online.

First Uganda Airlines Airbus 330-800 touches down in Entebbe Aviation Feature, Aviation News

First Uganda Airlines Airbus 330-800 touches down in Entebbe 10

Uganda Airlines took delivery of the first of 2 brand-new Airbus A330-800 neo. The aircraft captained by Capt. Michael Etyang touched down at Entebbbe International Airport on December 22, 2020, at 10:30 am to a water salute. Receiving the aircraft was Uganda’s President HE Gen. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni who cautioned the airline against corruption. Ahead […]
– eTurboNews | Trends | Travel News Online

Uganda Civil Aviation Authority updates COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedures Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Uganda Civil Aviation Authority updates COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedures 11

Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) has reviewed COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) following the increase in passenger traffic accessing the Entebbe International Airport since its October 1 reopening after the lockdown from late March 2020. The notice issued by Management contains the following directives: Effective December 2020, departing and arriving passengers will only be dropped and […]
– eTurboNews | Trends | Travel News Online

Airline passengers arrested at Entebbe airport with fake COVID-19 certificates Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Ugandan aviation police and the Entebbe airport health team arrested 23 travelers for forging COVID- 19 test results.  Detained passengers include Ugandans and foreigners who are currently detained at Entebbe International Airport before they will be charged in court. Announcing the arrests on local stations, Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson Patrick Onyango said: “We have been receiving […]
– eTurboNews | Trends | Travel News Online