Uganda Airlines today morning had its maiden commercial flight from Entebbe to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) with eight passengers on board after 20 years.
The airline departed from Entebbe Airport at 6:05am and landed in Nairobi at JKIA at exactly 7:00am, 5 minutes ahead of the scheduled landing time.
With only 8 passengers on board, the flight had passengers such as businessman Peter Ssenkungu, Workers’ Union leader Usher Wilson Owere, his wife Evelyn Were, Kwezi Tabaro, Joseph Kasigazi, and journalists Alon Mwesigwa, Olive Nakatudde and Gyegenda Ssemakula who are believed to have paid shs. 1,280,000 all together since each ticket goes for shs. 160,000.
The flight was being manned by Captain Charles Karabarinde, helped by First officer Denis Chotum. The purser was Asiimwe Neema and the cabin crew members were Ronnie Kasemiire and Johnson Mugume.
Among others included two pilots in training identified as Drazu Tina and Rashid Cheboy carrying out observations.
Among the many languages spoken across Uganda, today’s maiden commercial flight language was English and none of the local languages.
Upon landing in Nairobi, the smooth touch-down was welcomed by the passengers with emphatic applause despite being few in number who also described their presence on the airline’s first commercial flight as historical and a memoir worth the tale.
For the first time in 20 years Uganda Airlines was flying a commercial fight in what is believed to be the beginning of a long journey that Uganda hopes it takes a sweet turn as one of the objectives of the national airline is to promote tourism and sell the country wherever it flies to.
As a symbol of pride for the Country, Uganda joins the aviation business at a time most of the African airlines are operating in losses but there is hope that with Uganda Airlines on board some routes like Entebbe Nairobi will be fixed since it is one of the most expensive routes across the world.