By Spy Uganda
The 1st Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of East African Community Affairs Hon. Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga has asked Uganda Airlines to stretch its wings to cover more African countries with cargo operations to boost Uganda’s exports.
Kadaga made the comments at the opening ceremony of the 28th Uganda International Trade Fair & Exhibition (UGITF) held at UMA exhibition grounds Lugogo where she was invited as the guest of honour.
Uganda Manufacturers Association Board (UMA) Chairman Deo Kayemba briefed Kadaga that the lack of air transport connectivity that stretches to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) market is a huge challenge to Ugandan manufacturers.
”As manufacturers, we have a couple of challenges affecting the flow of our exports like lack of one currency, lack of export guarantee insurance but the major one is lack of air transport connectivity that stretches to ECOWAS market,” Kayemba said.
In response to the above, Kadaga asked Uganda Airlines to add on its routes to ECOWAS states saying it will boost profits for exporters through reduction of export costs since there will be direct flights from Entebbe to West Africa.
”It’s high time our mighty Uganda Airlines think of cargo operations to West Africa where our manufacturers say there is a market for our local produces. This will boost our exports but will also reduce export costs for our manufacturers,” Kadaga said.
According to the airline’s business plan, in the 2nd year of operation, the national carrier had planned to have 18 and four (4) regional and international routes respectively, but this was hindered by the COVID-19 effects.
As of today, Uganda Airlines boasts of a couple of operational routes including; Nairobi, Mombasa, Dubai, Kinshasa, Johannesburg, Juba, Dar es Salaam, Mogadishu and Bujumbura.