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Uganda’s national carrier, Uganda Airlines, says it has commenced commercial flight operations with the first one heading to Nairobi, Kenya.

Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda, who represented President Yoweri Museveni at the inauguration of the flight at Entebbe International Airport, 40km south of the capital Kampala, made this known on Tuesday.

In his speech read by Rugunda, Museveni described the moment as joyous and historic given that the carrier had earlier collapsed in 2001.

“Each year, Ugandans were donating 450 million dollars to other countries through foreign travel.

“Besides, there was a lot of inconvenience to travelling by not having direct flights and even being charged air fares indiscriminately,” Museveni said.

The airline will first fly to seven destinations in the region and these include Nairobi (Kenya), Mogadishu (Somalia), Juba (South Sudan), and Dar es Salaam (Tanzania).

It will then fly to Mombasa (Kenya), Kilimanjaro (Tanzania), and Bujumbura (Burundi).

“Uganda plays a critical role in the geopolitical and economic stability of East Africa as a region and as a nation, we are strategically placed to serve our neighbours,” Museveni said.

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“There has never been a better time to commence commercial operations than now when passenger traffic is growing given the increasing demand for Uganda tourism, business opportunities and a peaceful environment created by the NRM Government,” he said.

The country in April received two new CRJ900 Bombardier aircraft, with two more expected in September.

The country also expects two airbuses in 2020. (Xinhua/NAN)

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