Uganda Airlines Revives Entebbe-Mumbai Route Interest
After a lapse of nearly two years, including a Bubble Arrangement which it never used, Uganda Airlines has revived interest in flying the Entebbe-Mumbai-Mumbai-Entebbe route. Ms Regina Tibasima, the Commercial Affairs Manager, was in Mumbai in mid-February to meet Indian civil aviation officials at State and National level to sort out details of operational procedures.
Ms Tibasima linked up with the New Delhi Mission and the Uganda Consulate in Mumbai and found out that a lot had already been done towards operationalising the airline. With the initial destination being Mumbai, the Honorary Consul for Uganda, Mr Madhusudan Agrawal, had played an active role in realising this aim. The Consulate, located at the heart of the finance capital of India, had been pressurised by the business community in Mumbai and nearby Gujarat State, to ensure faster connectivity between India and Uganda other than provided by current airline service providers which have to fly to their home bases before connecting to Entebbe. The value of this was brought home to the Mission and the Consulate during a business tour by the Indian Travel Federation (TAFI) and Bollywood directors and actors in 2019 when it took several hours to get these important representatives of Indian film and tourism industry to Uganda.
In liaison with the Consulate therefore, the Mission had been working hard to ensure that the application to fly to India by Uganda Airlines in 2019 had been attended to by relevant Government of India officials. The over-one-year lag, however, made most of the arrangements and especially the requisite documentation obsolete. The main task the Airline has now is to renew these documents and have them subjected to the scrutiny of civil aviation and security officials of the Government of India. Uganda Airlines aim to ply the Entebbe-Mumbai-Mumbai-Entebbe route by March, 2022 hinges on how quickly it submits the requisite documents to Government of India.
The airline plans to ply the Entebbe-Mumbai route in the first instance. It is also looking into the prospects of flying to the political capital of India, New Delhi, and to Ahmedabad in the nearby State of Gujarat, the home-roots Indian city for most Ugandan Persons of Indian Origin (PIO).