By Our Reporter
Sudan Civil Aviation Authority (SCAA) has given Uganda Airlines landing rights adding new routes to the over 12 previous routes and 12 destinations.
The new development was brokered on Sunday September 25, 2022 by Uganda’s ambassador to the Republic of Sudan H.E Dr Rashid Yahya Ssemuddu and Ambassador Muhammad Al Hassan Ibrahim, Director for Africa at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Sudan.
“With reference to your letter No. 265 dated 08/03/2022 AD, we are pleased to inform you of our acceptance of designation (of Uganda National Airlines Company) as the national carrier of the Republic of the Uganda to operate between our two brotherly countries,” the Sudanese aviation regulator wrote in a letter signed by Mr. Fakhreldin Osman Ahmad, Director General of the Authority.
A jovial Ambassador Ssemuddu, received the message contained in a letter from the SCAA. He thanked God for the development and pledged to make a follow-up on all pending formalities that would facilitate Uganda’s flag carrier to Khartoum.
“Alhamdulillah, we should be thankful for God’s blessings. This means a lot because Uganda Airlines would make more money, contribute to the country’s
tourism industry and boost trade between our two sister countries,” said Ambassador Ssemuddu.
The move by Uganda Airlines to the relatively busy Khartoum Airport should be seen as a wise business decision. Sudan’s only international Airport handled 3.6 million passengers during the pre – Covid 19 pandemic period.
Clearance of the operations, including the maiden flight, expected in October 2022.
Currently, Tarco Aviation of Sudan is the only service that flies between Khartoum and Entebbe, with a brief stopover in Juba, on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Uganda airlines is expected to fly thrice to Khartoum on days that are yet to be named.
Travel using a number of others services, including Ethiopian, Turkish Airlines, Kenya Airways, Emirates Airlines, Qatar Airways and Air Arabia, would involve connecting through their home hubs.
Boost to Trade
Sudan has been the biggest importer of Uganda’s coffee in Africa over the last 20 years and is emerging as a major consumer of the country’s tea. A significant number of Ugandan students continue to go to universities and other tertiary institutions in Sudan. Operating direct flights to Khartoum has the potential of increasing trade between the two countries in terms of value and volumes.
“Traders and investors on either side can now expect to move in the comfort of a reliable air travel service on our part in Uganda, we shall always work on improving the investment climate and to relay to Ugandans trade and investment opportunities they should take advantage of.” Noted Ambassador Ssemuddu.
Uganda and the Republic of Sudan signed a memorandum of understanding on civil aviation in 2006. The current undertaking to clear Uganda airlines to operate in Sudan is in line with the above., has been a result of thorough efforts on either side, aimed at ensuring that the flag carrier meets the compliance requirements in the new market.
Ambassador Ssemuddu was in July 2022, also appointed Special Envoy to the State of Qatar by H.E. President Rtd Gen. Yoweri Museveni.
With flights to Khartoum expected in October 2022, traders, students and tourists will add to the already existing route charts to Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, United Arad Emirates (Dubai), Guangzhou China in October and London Heathrow in November.
More Routes planned
With the upcoming arrival and addition of new planes to existing fleet, Uganda Airlines will expand its route map to Zanzibar, Asmara, Hargeisa, Lusaka, Harare, Djibouti, and Addis Ababa.