Uganda Airlines today morning had its first commercial flight from Entebbe to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) with eight passengers on board.
The airline, which departed at Entebbe Airport at 6:05am touched down at JKIA at exactly 7:00am, five minutes ahead of the scheduled landing.
The passengers were businessman Peter Ssenkungu, Workers’ Union leader Usher Wilson Owere, his wife Evelyn Were, Kwezi Tabaro, Joseph Kasigazi, and journalists Alon Mwesigwa, Olive Nakatudde and Gyegenda Ssemakula.
The flight captain was Charles Karabarinde, helped by First officer Denis Chotum. The purser was Asiimwe Neema and the cabin crew members were Ronnie Kasemiire and Johnson Mugume.
Two pilots in training Drazu Tina and Rashid Cheboy were on the flight carrying out observations.
The language on board was English and none of the local languages.
The smooth touch-down was welcomed by the passengers with emphatic applause despite being few in number. The passengers described their presence on the airline’s first commercial flight as historical and a memoir worth the tale.
Also, while taxing at JKIA, the flight received a water salute, a norm whenever there is a delivery of plane or when an airline is making a maiden flight at a particular airport.
Pilot Karabarinde said “everything was perfect. We reported in our offices and everyone was happy.”
“The passengers came on time and we arrived on time. We reached Nairobi and we were warmly welcomed,” he said.
This is the first time the national carrier is flying a commercial flight in 20 years – this was the beginning of a long journey that Uganda hopes it takes a sweet turn.
The airline is expected to promote tourism and sell the country. It is also a symbol of pride for the country.