Uganda Airlines is set to increase its flights to Mombasa, a move that reflects the growing significance of the route in the airline’s operations. The airline currently operates three flights a week from Entebbe, Uganda to Mombasa, utilizing CRJ-900 jets with a capacity of 76 passengers each. These flights have been consistently filling up, with an average occupancy rate of around 80 percent.

Peggy Macharia, the airline’s country manager, spoke about the decision during a golf tournament sponsored by the airline in Mombasa. She attributed the rapid growth in the Mombasa route to increased trade between the two countries and the region’s recovery from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have seen a lot of growth in Mombasa post-Covid hence the need to shout about it. We have business traffic from Uganda to the Mombasa port and Kenyans going to Uganda as a tourism destination,” Macharia stated.

Macharia emphasized the importance of the Mombasa port for business, highlighting that many clients are drawn to Mombasa for trade-related activities. This increased demand has prompted Uganda Airlines to consider boosting the frequency of flights to Mombasa to cater to the rising number of passengers.

From Entebbe, Uganda Airlines serves 11 African countries, including Tanzania, Burundi, South Sudan, and South Africa. The airline has further expansion plans, aiming to begin flights to Nigeria within the next three months.

Anthony Ochieng, the market development representative of the Uganda Tourism Board in the Africa source market, noted that Kenya stands as the leading source market for Ugandan tourism. The numbers reflect this, with nearly 400,000 Kenyan visitors to Uganda in the previous year for purposes such as tourism, business, cultural exchanges, and family connections.

Given the promising statistics, Ochieng suggested that Uganda Airlines might consider opening new routes to other destinations along the Kenyan coast, such as Malindi, Ukunda, and Lamu.

“Currently, we are concentrating on increasing the load between Entebbe and Mombasa,” Ochieng commented.

Ochieng also highlighted the steady improvement in Uganda’s tourism sector, citing United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) statistics that suggest a full recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic could be achieved by 2025. He noted the growing interest in wildlife-based tourism, cultural tourism, and MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions) activities.

The increase in flights and focus on boosting tourism within Africa underlines the airline’s commitment to promoting regional connectivity and capitalizing on the burgeoning opportunities for trade and tourism across the continent.

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