New Airline Commences Flights in Nigeria With Cheaper Fares, to Rival Air Peace, Arik, Others

New Airline Commences Flights in Nigeria With Cheaper Fares, to Rival Air Peace, Arik, Others

  • Ugandan Airlines has resumed operations in Nigeria to reduce connectivity issues among travellers
  • In addition to the MMIA in Lagos, the airline will also operate flight routes to Abuja and Kano
  • The airline insists its flight services will bridge the gap for travellers commuting between West and East Africa

Legit.ng journalist Victor Enengedi has over a decade's experience covering Energy, MSMEs, Technology and the stock market.

A new airline has entered the Nigerian market to connect the Western and Eastern African routes.

On Friday, October 20, 2023, Uganda Airlines launched its flight services to Nigeria via the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) in Lagos.

This is as flight tickets across all airlines have sharply hiked due to the steep increase in the cost of aviation fuel, according to Legit.ng reports.

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Ugandan airlines
The airline will bridge the gap for travellers commuting between West and East African countries. Photo credit - VOA News, Ugandan Airlines
Source: UGC

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This milestone comes two decades after the signing of the Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) between the two nations, paving the way for flight operations.

According to Leadership, the airline's inaugural flight, carrying passengers and a government delegation, landed at MMIA after departing from Entebbe International Airport.

New flight to reduce airfares, ease connectivity issues

Stakeholders have noted that the introduction of this new flight service will not only result in lower airfares but will also streamline connectivity for passengers travelling between West and East Africa and those with connections to Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.

Prior to this development, the air connection between the two countries required a 10-hour journey, which has now been significantly shortened to just three and a half hours with the introduction of Uganda Airlines in Nigeria.

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During a press conference held for the launch of the Entebbe route in Lagos, Jennifer Bamuturaki, the CEO of Uganda Airlines, announced that the flight service will operate three times a week, effectively reducing travel time from 10 hours to three and a half hours.

She emphasized that Uganda's national carrier's introduction of flight services to Lagos will bridge the gap for travellers commuting between West and East African countries.

She said:

This flight was exactly three and a half hours. We cut out close to 14 hours from Lagos to Entebbe so that means that if you are flying to Mumbai, Dubai, you don’t need to fly 10 hours just come to Entebbe in three and a half hours and be in Dubai in another four and half hours. If you are going to Mumbai, three and half hours to Entebbe, one hour in transit and another 6 hours into Mumbai so we have closed the gap between Eastern Africa countries and the West.

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Along with Lagos, FG adds Kano, Abuja to Uganda Airlines routes

Mr Festus Keyamo, the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, has announced that the Federal Government has approved the inclusion of Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA) in Abuja and Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA) in Kano as destinations on the airline's routes in Nigeria.

As a result of this development, Uganda Airlines, which commenced its three weekly flights to Nigeria on Thursday, will now be granted access to two more entry points in the country.

Notably, over 11 foreign carriers, such as Qatar Airways, Emirates, Ethiopian Airlines, and British Airways, currently operate an additional 70 flights to Nigeria every week, serving various cities across the country.

Nigeria welcomes more foreign airlines

Speaking on Ugandan Airlines entry, Tobi Akinbayomi, Regulations & Safety Officer at the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) told Legit.ng that the coming in of more foreign airlines into the Nigerian aviation market benefits Nigeria.

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He said:

I look at it, particularly from the angle that would benefit Nigeria and Nigerians. If an airline is coming in to broaden Nigeria's access to the East African route, that is a good thing. Competition should be encouraged. It opens doors for more competitive fares and services across all operators. Nigeria welcomes more foreign airlines.

He added that despite the inherent problems in Nigeria's aviation sector, the country remains a huge market for both domestic and foreign airlines.

FG approves United Airlines direct flights to US, UK, 4 other countries

In related news, Legit.ng reported that the Federal Government has granted approval for United Airlines to conduct international flights within the country.

United Airlines, which initiated its operations in 2021, is now authorized to transport passengers to various international destinations, including the United States of America, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Italy, Ireland, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The airline said it has obtained approval for regional flights and expects additional aircraft from mid-October as it prepares to commence international operations.

Source: Legit.ng

Authors:
Victor Enengedi avatar

Victor Enengedi (Business HOD) Victor Enengedi is a trained journalist with over a decade of experience in both print and online media platforms. He holds a degree in History and Diplomatic Studies from Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ogun State. An AFP-certified journalist, he functions as the Head of the Business Desk at Legit. He has also worked as Head of Editorial Operations at Nairametrics. He can be reached via victor.enengedi@corp.legit.ng and +2348063274521.

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