Uganda Airlines has inaugurated its direct flights from Entebbe to Somali capital, Mogadishu, joining the growing list of international airlines that fly into the Horn of Africa nation.
The Somali Minister of Education, Abdullahi Barre, while welcoming the inaugural flight said Uganda was a popular destination for Somalis seeking education opportunities and direct flights would further boost the ties between the two countries.
According to him, Uganda comes after Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, and Turkey in attracting students from Somalia, adding that the presence of international airlines is a testimony that Somalia is consolidating on its peace/security, and is open for business.
Somalia, who is witnessing an impressive growth of its aviation sector, is now attracting some of the world’s best known international airlines due to improved peace, security, and expanding business opportunities across the country.
An airline’s commercial Director, Jennifer Bamuturaki, said Turkish Airlines, Kenya Airways, Ethiopia Airlines, and Qatar Airlines were some of the airlines that operated regular flights into Mogadishu.
She added that they have started with four flights per week, and expected to increase.
“We will be flying into Mogadishu four times a week, every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday. We are expecting two more Bombardier planes in October.
“Once we have the aircraft delivered to our fleet, we will increase our flights to Mogadishu to six times a week,“Bamuturaki said.
The Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Abdulkadir Abdi, and International Cooperation, cited the previously lengthy transit hours that passengers travelling between Entebbe and Mogadishu had to endure, but now a story of the past.
“We have many passengers who travel, but there were no direct flights and they had to suffer lengthy waiting times and other inconveniences,“Abdulkadir said.