By Spy Uganda
Uganda Airlines Chief Executive Officer Jenifer Bamuturaki has revealed that they are planning to kick off flight operations to Nigeria in December 2022.
She disclosed this during the 18th Akwaaba Africa travel and tourism market held in Lagos, Nigeria on Monday.
Bamuturaki said that flights to Lagos will begin before the end of December this year while flights to Abuja will begin in 2023.
She noted that this would be the first operation in West Africa. “I am happy to tell you that we, the Uganda Airlines, will begin our flights to Nigeria, first time in history, from December 2022,” she said.
“This will be our first flight to West Africa, we will begin that and then, begin to grow slowly. When we come to Nigeria, we will be working through the recognised travel agents and tour operators,” she added.
Meanwhile, Bamuturaki commended Ikechi Uko, convener of the Akwaaba Africa travel and tourism market, for recognising her efforts in the travel space.
She also encouraged more women to aspire for leadership roles in the tourism and travel industry, adding that this could be a difficult task in a male-dominated industry.
“I feel so honoured because there are not many women in leadership roles in the aviation industry. So, to be recognised is a good thing because there are few women in the industry,” she said.
“Most of the women in aviation are doing jobs that are operational, so, to be in administration is one thing to tell the young girls that you can rise through operations, flight dispatch and end in leadership where you can see everything from the backside view.
“It is not easy for women because it is a male-dominated society, we have more men flying, more men doing dispatch and fewer women.
“Most women want to go for the easy area which is cabin crew but I want to encourage women to look at the other side which is the administration and leadership areas, it is fulfilling but difficult.”
Bamuturaki, who has over 15 years of experience in the aviation industry, said the secret to running a successful airline was to have good managers overseeing various aspects that needed to be monitored.
Speaking on global challenges in the sector, she said Uganda Airlines was also facing problems due to a hike in aviation fuel as experienced by other airlines in Africa.
However, she said, the airline has been able to manage the situation by increasing sales of different travel and holiday packages.
“We have new aircraft and we have a total number of six aircraft, we are known for good services, we can’t increase airfares at the moment. We are looking at our passengers as our guests and we always want them to be comfortable at all times,” she added.
She also urged African airlines to invest in different forms of partnership to improve seamless travel across the continent.