Africa-Press – Uganda. The General Sales Agent (GSA) Arab Air in Uganda, Mr Ibrahim Abdisalam has said the airline company is set to increase its frequency in the country in order to serve the large demand and market opportunity for Ugandans travelling to and from the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
“After a long study we managed to successfully start our flights to Entebbe today- with about 8o passengers. The return flight was fully booked. We hope all the next flights will be fully booked, we shall be operating three flights a week, on Sunday, Wednesday and Friday,” he explained.
Mr Abdisalam made the remarks on Sunday as the newest airline on the Ugandan aviation network made its first direct flight from Sharjah International Airport in the UAE to Entebbe International Airport.
“We look forward to increasing the frequency because there is good demand here and market opportunity, the airline provides a low cost travel experience to Middle East countries like the UAE, and Saudi Arabia, among others” he said.
The minister of state for works in charge of transport, Mr Fred Byamukama said the airlines introduction on the aviation sector will boost business for Ugandans.
“Ugandans practice agriculture hence producing different products that have market in the UAE but face difficulty in transporting them because of logistics. With the timely introduction of direct flights with the Air Arab airline, Ugandans will have increased business that will benefit even the local Ugandans,” he said.
Mr Byamukama said the expansion of the Airport will enable the increasing number of airlines operating in Uganda to conduct business smoothly.
“Many airlines are coming in. That is why government had earlier anticipated expanding the airport,” he said.
The Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) director airports and aviation security, Mr Ayub Sooma said addition of airline operators will help achieve the government’s objective of developing an air transport sector network that will connect Uganda to all major cities in the world.
“Government is implementing the first phase for the upgrade and expansion of facilities at Entebbe International Airport worth $200 m. This is intended to accommodate current and future air traffic and also make it comply with the international Civil Aviation Organizations’ (ICAO) safety requirements. Phase 1 of the construction is almost completed, awaiting to kick start phase 2 worth $125 million,” he said.
Mr Sooma revealed that plans are underway to improve and upgrade facilities at the regional and upcountry aerodromes to meet international standards and open new routes through signing of more bilateral air services agreements.