Uganda tourism board, airline make inroads into Nigeria

Posted on: November 22, 2023, by :

After months of planning, checks and fulfilling the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority’s (NCAA) requirements, Uganda Airlines had its inaugural flight on Thursday October 19, 2023.
The A330-800 aircraft, which took off from Entebbe International Airport in Uganda, with passengers and a government delegation landed at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos, amid a ceremonial water cannon salute from the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) fire fighting and rescue services.
The inaugural flight marks the commencement of three-weekly flights to Lagos, with the Nigerian government further granting approval for operations to Abuja and Kano airports in line with the Single Africa Air Transport Market (SAATM).
The development is well-received by the Nigerian travelers who are clamoring for cheaper airfares, shorter flight time to East Africa and ease connectivity for Europe, Middle East and Asia from West and East Africa. Excited at the seamless connectivity milestone, Jenifer Bamuturaki, chief executive officer, Uganda Airlines, noted that the journey to more connected Africa has begun with about a three and half hours flight from Entebbe to Lagos.
According to her, with shorter flight time, Nigerian passengers connecting to Mumbai or Dubai do not have to go 10 hours across directions, as Entebbe offers it in four and a half hours.
However, the inaugural flight is most welcomed by the Uganda Tourism Board, the country’s agency responsible for marketing and promoting the country, which is nicknamed ‘The Pearl of Africa’, especially
her tourism to the world.
Speaking in Lagos, after the inaugural flight Samora Semakula, Quality Assurance Manager, Uganda Tourism Board (UTB), noted that the importance of a national air carrier cannot be over-emphasized in destination marketing as it ensures seamless connectivity and inflow of tourists, business travellers and corporate organisations to the country to explore its tourism offerings.
Semakula, who spoke to the Nigerian travel media at Marriott Hotel Ikeja, Lagos, noted that Nigeria is one of the five source markets for Uganda Tourism Board and the connecting.flight between the two countries would ensuresmoother and more robust tourism, cultural and business exchanges between the two countries.
According to him, with three and half hours flight from Entebbe to Lagos, and cheaper airfare, Uganda is a better offer for the Nigerian holidaymakers, pilgrims and business travelers and even those seeking to connect the world through East Africa.
On visa, he noted that Ugandan visa regime has always been friendly, but with the flight and more passengers set to flock the country, Uganda has put in place a smoother visa processing system, which offers visas within 24 hours, amid efficient online processing for visitors on-the-go.
With all these going for Uganda, Semakula welcomes Nigerians to The Pearl of Africa, while highlighting the numerous tourism

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