By Nasser Kasozi Akandwanaho/Agencies
The Sudan Civil Aviation Authority (SCAA) has Sunday, September 25, 2022, cleared Uganda’s national carrier [Uganda Airlines] to fly to the Northern African country, adding a new route to the recently revived airline company, and paving way for deeper socio-economic ties between the two African countries.
The news of the historic development was broken Sunday, September 25, 2022,
by Ambassador Muhammad Al Hassan Ibrahim, Director for Africa at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Sudan.
This was during a meeting he held with Uganda’s Ambassador to Khartoum, the Republic of Sudan, Dr. Rashid Yahya Ssemuddu.
Ambassador Rashid Ssemuddu received the message contained in a letter from the SCAA.
Dr.Ssemuddu thanked God for the development and pledged to make a follow-up on all pending formalities that would facilitate Uganda’s flag carrier to add Khartoum to its expanding portfolio, at the earliest possible time.
“Alhamdulillah, we should be thankful for God’s blessings. This means a lot because Uganda airlines would make more money, contribute to the country’s tourism industry and boost trade between our two sister countries,” said
The move by Uganda Airlines to the relatively busy Khartoum Airport should be seen as a wise business decision.
Sudan’s only international Airport handled 3.6 million passengers during the pre – covid 19 pandemic period.
The airport serves at least a dozen regional and global airline brands including Emirates, Qatar, Arabian, Ethiopian, Etihad, Egypt Air, and Turkish Airlines, among others.
Currently, Tarco Aviation of Sudan is the only service that flies between Khartoum and Entebbe, with a brief stopover in Juba, on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
Uganda airlines is expected to fly thrice to Khartoum on days that are yet to be named.
Travel using a number of others services, including Ethiopian, Turkish Airlines, Kenya Airways, Emirates Airlines, Qatar Airways, and Air Arabia, would involve connecting through their home hubs.
“With reference to your letter No. 265 dated 08/03/2022 AD, we are pleased to inform you of our acceptance of designation (of Uganda National Airlines Company) as the national carrier of the Republic of Uganda to operate between our two brotherly countries…”, the Sudanese aviation regulator wrote in a letter signed by Mr. Fakhreldin Osman Ahmad, Director General of the Authority.
Sudan has been the biggest importer of Uganda’s coffee in Africa over the last
20 years and is emerging as a major consumer of the country’s tea.
A significant number of Ugandan students continue to go to universities and other tertiary institutions in Sudan.
Operating direct flights to Khartoum has the potential of increasing trade between the two countries in terms of value and volume.
Said Ambassador Ssemuddu: “Traders and investors on either side can now expect to move in the comfort that they have a good and reliable air travel service. On our part in Uganda, we shall always work on improving the investment climate and to relay to Ugandans trade and investment opportunities they should take advantage of.”
Ambassador Ssemuddu was in July 2022, also appointed Special Envoy to the State of Qatar by H.E. President Gen. Yoweri Museveni.
Uganda and the Republic of Sudan signed a memorandum of understanding
on civil aviation in 2006. The current undertaking to clear Uganda airlines to operate in Sudan is in line with the above.
Clearance of the operations, including the maiden flight, expected in October 2022, has been a result of thorough efforts on either side, aimed at ensuring that the flag carrier meets the compliance requirements in the new market.